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How Changing Your Study Habits Can Make You Ace Your Finals

It’s finals week here at DePaul and I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling discouraged in my ability to succeed.  I’ve got cabin fever from the frigid Chicago winter and I’m eager for spring break to come and take me from my misery!  If you’re feeling unmotivated this finals season, here are a few ways you can switch up your routine and get those thinking cells into gear!


Change your location.

You may think that you’ve found the best study spot for you.  You’ve been using the cubes on the third floor of the library all year.  Then why are you procrastinating in them? Everyone can benefit from a change in scenery, so why not try a different floor or even a different type of desk?  Does doing homework surrounded by other students motivate you or stress you out? Try out a few different places–library, coffee shop, dorm–and see what works best.  

Use different tools.

If your typical pen and paper method isn’t working for you, try typing your notes on a computer.  It can take less time and be more legible (if you have handwriting anything like mine).  Sometimes I get way too distracted using my own computer due to emails and texts popping up, so I use a school computer instead.  It allows you to focus in on your assignment and creates a more academic environment.

You don’t have to follow your learning style.

You’ve probably taken a quiz once or twice in your life categorizing you as one of the following: an auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learner.  However, you can still try out the types of learning you don’t typically use! Try reading your notes out loud to yourself, writing down class notes online, or using flashcards or other physical learning tools if you haven’t tried them before.  

Try not to cram (I know, I’m guilty of this too).

I should really take my own advice, but cramming creates a really negative learning environment and makes it hard to actually retain information.  Sometimes your class will end a few days early giving you time before the final class period, so use that time! You’re college should be helping you succeed, so often times dorms have 24 quiet hours, libraries are open 24/7, and there are lots of resources on campus to help you get ready for the dreaded week ahead of you.  Take 30 minutes out of your day to get ahead on a paper. You’ll feel a lot better the next time you work on it, and you’ll realize it’s easier than you thought to start assignments early. Think positively about your workload!

Try some of these alternate study tools when you’re in a slump during finals week.  You have the power to succeed, you just gotta push yourself. You’ll feel amazing once all of your tests and papers are over with, and all of your hard work will pay off when you get to relax for a week.  

Grace Jacques is a PR & Advertising Major at DePaul University.  When not writing for Her Campus, you can find her fundraising for Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, marching in Grant Park, or enjoying The Frenchie at Cheesie's Pub and Grub.  
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