Study Tips to Slay Your Stress

Image of students sitting at a table studying.

Whether a new student or a returning one, we can all agree that college can be a stressful experience, especially because of the schoolwork. We need to keep up-to-date on lectures, complete homework and projects, and prepare for tests. Balancing 12 – 15 credits can be tough, so here are some tips to make your next study session a little bit less stressful.

1. Before the Class Begins
Use the time before class starts to get a few more facts in. Treat this like a small review session where you can look back at the notes you took last time. It will help keep you refreshed on the chapter and ready for whatever questions your professor may ask.

2. Find a Study Buddy!
This special, study-session someone can be a friend or even a family member. Review your notes, type out some questions and answers, then let your buddy quiz you. They can keep you on your toes while you’re balancing so many subjects and can act as a great motivator to succeed. It can allow you to organize certain topics better, and works especially well for studying vocabulary.

3. Book Tips!
For those who need to read more than just your notes, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips for those with their noses buried in textbooks and novels.

a. Sticky Notes
If bookmarks are a bookworm’s best friend, then sticky notes are a student’s. As the name implies, these little buddies are your go-to system for stick-anywhere note-taking. If the paper is too big for your little message, trim it into thirds. We get a lot of thoughts while reading, but these little guys will help you keep the little “fly away facts.”

b. Online quizzes!
Reading Orwell’s “1984”? Got a forced engagement with Edgar Allan Poe? Perhaps your professor stuck you with Shakespeare? Well, have no fear, online quizzes are here! Sites such as SparkNotes and CliffsNotes provide quizzes for many stories, whether for individual chapters or for the whole book. Can’t find a quiz? Look for a summary online. These options are sure to bring you some clarity.

4. Why Not Use White Noise?
White noise consists of a constant, equal intensity sound that is perfect for drowning out the smallest distracting sounds. Examples include the sounds of rain, the ocean, or even a fan! There are numerous white sound apps or videos on YouTube. If white noise isn’t your thing, try instrumental or classical music. I personally enjoy listening to cosmic white noise or the musical works of Ludovico Einaudi.

5. Take a Break.
Don’t make your brain pump ‘til it pops. Your brain is a muscle and needs an occasional break (Emphasis on occasional). Take a shower, eat a snack. Take a few minutes to watch a video on YouTube or check social media. These little breaks in-between can give your brain the rest it needs to absorb what you just learned. Just keep the break limited before returning to your studies.
There are many more tips for successful studying, and everyone has their own study style. I hope these tips will help you and I wish you luck in the following semesters.