Tag Archives: education

#StudiousSeptember: Satisfying Study Sessions

19 Sep

Now that the semester is underway and the homework is rolling in, it’s time to study! While we usually meet this challenge without much enthusiasm, it is possible to make it an event to look forward to.

Spoil Thyself!

Have a well-deserved treat when you put your study time in! Small rewards like this will give you a little boost in your day.

Having a little caffeine can help your brain along. Try curling up in a café to do your assigned readings in caffeinated comfort. Even taking yourself out for a long lunch can make a thankless homework task into the highlight of your day.

Make Peace, Not Grief

Find a spot that evokes a sense of peace so you can study longer without struggling to sit still. The summer is almost over and the lawns are cool and green. There are tons of hidden benches and shady trees to give you a seat with sitting in, they’re the perfect places to have a meditative study session.

Having a regular study space set up at home can really help. Once you’ve established a spot that puts you in study mode, your brain will automatically know what you’re up to when you sit down. Since the hardest part is getting started, this will make things much easier in the long run.

If you find yourself getting distracted, try putting your headphones on and listening to some music. This is almost like putting the blinders on a horse so that he focuses on the road ahead.

That being said, limit your access to text messages, Netflix, and social media while you work. Maybe make a post letting your friends know that you’re getting ready to bear down for an hour or two. They’ll totally understand.

Organize to Limit Suffering

Have you ever looked at all of your papers, folders, books and handouts in a pile and felt like your head was going to explode? Getting overwhelmed is a good thing to avoid and a simple problem to solve.

If you know what’s on your syllabus, you can break things into steps and prioritize. Is it more important to study for a quiz that’s worth 15% or and exam that’s worth 40%? Making lists, writing your syllabus dates and deadlines on a calendar, or using the library’s assignment scheduler can help you. Not only will you know what to do with your study session, but you’ll be able to look ahead. Check out Think Tank’s “Semester on a Page” for a cool organizational tool.

Once you have your to-do list made, it’s time to knock it out. If you’re taking your studies out for a night on the town, be sure to pack your chargers, writing utensils, scratch paper and all of your materials for the classes you’re working on. The last thing you want to do is to get settled in only to find that you’ve brought the wrong book.

If you know you’ll be struggling with the material from a class as you study it, go where the help is! Getting stuck or stumped can be an important part of the learning process, but you want to connect to the resources around you before you get frustrated. Study near your professor’s office during their office hours, bring your work to Think Tank, or make a study group to give yourself a support network.

By spoiling yourself, seeking out your study oasis and breaking big tasks into small steps, you’ll set yourself up for success this semester.

Keep calm and study happily!



Forming Study Groups

13 Feb

Most people claim that when they study with their friends, they are never able to focus. Everyone either begins discussing their exciting weekend plans or something completely off topic and before you know it, you’ve been in the same study room for the past 5 hours and only got through one powerpoint slide. I am pretty sure we all have been there! Don’t give up hope! Here are some tips to ensure that you are able to study with the company of your best friends, but still get some serious studying accomplished.

  • Go over the material individually before meeting as a group so that everyone is on the same page. It is never useful studying with a group if some of the individuals have no idea what the content is about!
  • Come prepared to ask questions/ clarifications. If you come prepared with questions to ask your studymates, chances are everyone will stay on task.
  • Take breaks every 50 minutes for about 10 minutes. Studies have shown that students are often able to retain information better with frequent breaks. Plus, you and your friends will be able to use those 10 minutes to talk about sports/gossip/television/ weekend plans!
  • Take turns bringing snacks to the study sessions. Healthy snacks would be best such as almonds, apples, raisins, oranges, etc. Periodically unhealthy treats such as donuts, cupcakes, and pastries can also be good positive reinforcement!
  • Mix up your studying methods! Instead of just going through the powerpoint slides one by one, perhaps try to develop some sort of game with your friends to make studying both productive and enjoyable. (Jeopardy anyone?)

There are ways to make studying with your friends both educational and enjoyable! Give these a try since the first round of midterms are approaching soon!


-Erica S.