Studying Tips for Everyone to Finish the Semester Strong

If you’re like me, you’ve had a Pinterest Board labeled “School” or “Studying” filled with random study tips for forever. And chances are, the board hasn’t been looked at since you made it 5 years ago. While your heart is in the right place, study tips are only helpful if you actually follow them when you study. If you practice the behaviors often enough, they don’t seem to be a chore anymore. So while this is another “Study Tips” list, hopefully these are new ideas for you to think about when studying and ideas that are easy to follow and make into habits!

1. Find a place to study OUTSIDE of your room

This is a huge one for me because I have found that studying in my dorm room doesn’t help me because I get distracted and procrastinate. I’ll sit at my desk to start and 5 minutes later, I am arranging my closet for the millionth time. I recommend finding a place outside of your room. It makes you get up and get organized so you’re ready to go somewhere else. While coffeehouses are the ideal space for me, that’s not always easy on a campus. What I ended up doing the first couple weeks of school was going around to different buildings and places on campus to try and find a good environment. I went to a couple different places in the library but those places are always hard because so many people are there already. I went to different areas of our student building, different class buildings and I finally found a really comfortable bench close to windows away from the flow of traffic in the building. I can easily keep to myself and not get distracted.

2. Create a playlist

While this is probably already done, check the songs you have. Do they have lyrics? If you said yes, these are probably not the best songs to listen to while you’re trying to focus on your own work. While the songs you listen to might be your favorite, it is very easy to get distracted by singing along which shifts focus from your homework/ studying. I have a playlist of movie soundtracks that I listen to and I have used for three years or so. I have music from Harry Potter, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, and various Disney background music from movies. I love these movies so listening to the music while doing homework tends to be really relaxing for me and there aren’t lyrics to sing along to.

3. Time management

Plan out your study sessions. Before you start your week, look ahead at your schedule and plan out when you can put time aside to find a good spot, get some coffee and some snacks, figure out what you need to get done and stick to that plan. This has helped me so much because I have been able to use my time between classes as a way to get work done and not worry about it later. I try to study between classes, later at night on some weeknights and then Sunday mornings. I have found Sunday mornings to be very productive due to less student traffic which allows me to go to the CUB (our student building) and watch football while I finish up homework.

4. Individual vs Group Study

Personally, I am a huge fan of studying alone. I have my headphones in, I am blocking out my environment and I am able to focus on my work. If I am in the same class as other people, I’m okay with studying in a group because we all collaborate and can bounce ideas off each other. When I am doing my own work in a big group, I still have my headphones but there will be times when someone else asks a question about their work and they ask for an opinion or something and it distracts me from what I am doing. If I am in a group of people who stick to themselves then I am very comfortable studying in a group. Usually I still tend to stick to myself which works for me.

5. Once you feel yourself getting distracted, take a quick break

I am not a big fan of the “Study for 20 min and then give yourself a 5 minute break” philosophy. When I study, I am in that mindset for an hour or maybe longer until I feel myself start to fade. Since I plan out my times ahead, I tend to get into that mindset early to prepare myself for the next couple hours. If I use the other method, I find myself constantly checking the time until my break which means I get nothing done. I tend to work for as long as I can but once I feel myself slip, I remove myself from my work for a little bit. So I’ll get up and take a walk or grab another snack which gives me time to keep myself ready to go.

6. Wear something you’re confident in

What you where has a huge impact on your confidence and how you feel on any given day. Whether you’re someone who’s confident in jeans or leggings or sweatpants, your confidence will feed into your overall feeling of motivation to get things done. I do some of my best study sessions when I am dressed more casual in jeans or leggings paired with a cute sweater. Wear whatever makes you feel like you can do anything. Look good, do good!

 

Comment below some other tips that might be helpful for people!