Bust Down the Books

I am not the greatest studier; however, over the past semester, I have learned some great tips to motivate myself through tough topics and get the job done. I have a lot more to learn over the following years of undergrad and grad school, but hopefully what I’ve learned so far can help you out.

1. Leave Your Room

This may seem obvious to some, but one of the best ways to get into a studying mood is to be in a studying location. Whether this means going to a study room on your hall, the library, cafe, an outdoor space like the Cistern or a courtyard, or another building on campus like SSMB, Rita, or Jewish Studies, this is the first step you should take. My favorite place to study is the Simmons Center (art building) because I still have access to the school's wifi, it's quiet, and it doesn't feel too stuffy like the library can sometimes.

2. Bring Healthy/Energizing Snacks

I’ve found out that any time I try to study, it usually lasts for a few hours (at least) and I tend to want snacks at some point.  I’ve also found that sugary snacks from the vending machine make me very sluggish and tired when I study. Instead, reaching for a nut mix, tortilla chips, or fruit (to name a few) make me feel energized and fuller quicker

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

3.  Take a Break

It’s crucial to take a short break every once in a while while you’re studying.  Take a minute to stand up, stretch your arms and legs, and return. Take a walk around the area, or even grab a cup of coffee.  The only thing worse than studying for multiple hours on end is being stiff from studying for multiple hours on end.

4.  Tackle the Content from a Different Perspective

Sometimes studying for memorization just doesn’t work, and this can be frustrating.  But don’t worry, there’s another way! One way I get around memorization is trying to focus on fully understanding the concepts rather than the exact wording of a fact or definition.  This way, you can think of your own definition, and it is easier to remember your own words. Also, if you have a compliant friend, another way to make information stick is to see if you can teach the information to others.  By doing this, you are forced to know the information very well.

Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam on Unsplash

5.  Motivate Yourself

When I’m the last hour or so of studying, and I really feel like quitting, I just have to be downright mean to myself to make that final push.  While this may be extreme, reminding yourself that you have to finish strong is very helpful. Remind yourself how important the assignment and its due date is.  Create some mantras to motivate yourself. My personal favorite is “You are capable, you are smart; you are strong.”