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With summer break soon arriving and the sun finally here to stay, it gets more and more difficult to avoid distractions from school. Finishing the semester with good grades and mental health is important for all of us. Here are some tips to stay focused and finish this semester strong.

Find a good study spot 

Discovering a spot that best suits your study habits is essential for productivity. When finding a good location ask yourself these questions: 

Do I work best in silence? 

  • If so, then studying in the library or your dorm is probably the best option for you.

  • If not, then studying in a cafe or a lounge area is a good option for getting out of your dorm or apartment. 

Can I stay concentrated if I study with friends?

  • If the answer is “yes,” then find a study group from people in similar classes to you.

  • If the answer is “no,” then find a place where you can sit alone. Coffee shops or renting a study room at the Student Center offer privacy when studying. 

Do I like to study outside?

  • If so, then check out this article for the best outdoor study locations around Mizzou. 

  • If not, then sticking to the places around campus that are inside (like Memorial Union, the Student Center, or Ellis Library) is probably best for you.

But, finding a good study spot isn’t just about location. You should make sure that the space around you is clean and organized so there are minimal distractions. Having a place to study that is peaceful and helps you stay focused will increase your productivity and make the end of the school year feel like a breeze. 

Make a schedule

When it comes to staying organized, consistency is key. Personally, I find it best if I use a separate planner for my daily life and for school. Weeks that I already know I am super busy, I plan my days around my school work. So, at the beginning of the week I look at all of the school work I have and mark the day each assignment is due. Then, in my planner, I write down all of the events that I have to go to that week (this can be classes, club meetings or practices). Once I know what I absolutely have to be at, I can plan time to study and work on my school work. Finally, I plan to do things that aren’t absolutely essential (like times to hangout with friends or workout). By prioritizing school when I am busy, I am still able to do the other things I want to do because I have set aside time for them. This leads me directly into my next tip...

Give yourself breaks

Breaks are absolutely essential at the end of the year. You probably don’t want to finish the semester grumpy and burnt out. To avoid this, I recommend planning times to have a clear schedule. This means planning to hangout with friends, workout, read a book, listen to a podcast or anything you do to clear your mind and reset. I recommend doing this during the day in between classes or study sessions.

Taking breaks has been proven to help reduce stress and improve productivity. Personally, I prefer to put in more hours working during the week, so that most of my weekends are my freetime to make plans with friends or just relax. When you find what works best for you, planning freetime will become much easier and much more enjoyable. 

My name is Julia Canellis. I am a journalism major at the University of Missouri with hopes of attending law school. I am from Chicago, Illinois and I love playing tennis and listening to podcasts in my free time. Email: Juliacanellis10@gmail.com
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