As FSU finals quickly approach, the struggle feels all too familiar when it comes to finding time and motivation to study. The Florida sunshine call students out of their study caves. And it feels much more inviting than that textbook. Here in Tally, every Florida State University student would much rather go see the dogs on Landis, visit state parks or take a quick trip to the beach, but we all know that at some point, the studying needs to happen. How do you find a way to carve out that time and, if possible, avoid making yourself want to drop out of university?
Follow this list of 10 study tips for FSU to help find a solution to this problem.
1. Stake out a Seminole study Spot
When it comes to studying, nothing feels quite as satisfactory as finding that place that lets you zone in on your work. “[My study spot is] Dirac. All day, every day,” said sophomore Hayley Calvert. Having such a consistent study space in your academic life is important. Take some time to find your personal favorite—be it inside Dirac or out on the green grass of Landis.
2. Book a Room in Strozier or Dirac
Picture this: You walk into Strozier to get your chair that you’ve sat in the entire semester, only to find a student sleeping in it. You can tell that they pulled an all-nighter there in your spot and you can’t help but feel betrayed by your trusty seat. As you look around for a new spot to evolve into your new study soul mate, no seats or cozy corners appear available. Thankfully, you can avoid this. On the library website, you can find a link to book individual or group study rooms up to two days in advance for multiple hours. “No one really books them, so when you need to get some studying done, you can get a group of friends together to maximize your study time and resources,” said FSU sophomore Jully Dong. Just think of it like Tinder for library seating. Booking rooms allows you to have a set-in-stone spot waiting to spend time with you. Just make sure during finals week to stay consistent with booking yourself a room because they fill up fast.
3. Don’t get stuck in Strozier
The walls of Strozier or the basement of Dirac get dull quick. You should probably avoid the raging urge to clean your mess of a dorm to study in and, just maybe, procrastinate studying for that speech you must prepare. Don’t let that happen. Change up where you put yourself by finding many of the different study spots available at FSU. Instead of the library for the one-hundredth time, try sitting in the William Johnston building, the Sweet Shop or at 1821.
4. Study with Your Fellow Noles
Here at FSU, we pride ourselves in having an open-minded and accepting community. However, we’ve all seen that person around campus who starts talking with themselves. It not only looks a little discomforting, but it also makes us wonder if they need to go to the doctor. Inwardly, we know our sanity breaks down when we study alone too. Hop on Facebook or make an announcement in class that you want to form a study group with some of your Seminole family. Not only does it save your mental sanity, but it may also bring information you missed to the table as you do the same for your classmates.
5. Visit ACE Learning Center
One of the most helpful sources at FSU lies within the Academic Center for Excellence. While I’m sure we’ve all heard of it, not many of us actually use it. If you’ve never really paid much attention to it before now, take some time and look into their website. They give advice on areas ranging from time management to study motivations. Don’t fear contacting the staff as they are super helpful, too. Mr. Todd Rakes (find him on the staff page) saves student’s lives with time management tables.
6. Turn Your Phone on Airplane Mode
A tip from when ACE’s Mr. Todd Rakes came and spoke to my class got me thinking. He suggested putting your phone in the drawer when studying because—face it—we check our phone about every two minutes and send a snap approximately every five. He advised my class to use our phones as a “reward” to look forward to post-studying. However, I can’t have a successful study session without music, but I found airplane mode plays the role of a happy medium.
7. Get that Caffeine Fix at RedEye or Lucky Goat
Caffeine contains much of the power we need to stay awake during classes and studying at FSU. When asked what his best study tip would be, sophomore Danny Palacio simply answered “Coffee, coffee, coffee” and, in all honesty, that could replace our war chant here at FSU. Coffee is essential for our study time and with a Starbucks inside both Strozier and Dirac, accessing those six shots of espresso to keep you awake after 11 p.m. happens faster than you can calculate. The real trouble, however, comes while trying to sit still in front of a textbook after drinking that much caffeine. In addition to drinking it in the midst of cramming, try bringing it with you as a treat to your tests. “I usually make it at home, but before a big test, I like to buy it [from Dunkin’ Donuts] as a motivation to do well,” FSU junior Christine Lopez shared.
If you enjoy taking a break from the big coffee industries, well then you, fellow Nole, have found yourself in the right city. Here in Tally, you can visit many of our cute local coffee cafes such as RedEye coffee, located in midtown, or one of the Lucky Goat coffee shops scattered throughout the city and within close proximity to FSU.
8. Steal Your Friend’s Studying Techniques
Studying for a test can get hard, especially when you cram or use a repetitive method. Freshman Matthew Schaper said, “Don’t wait until last minute and make notecards.” No matter how basic a technique like this seems, take advantage of your friends’ tips because we all know that as stressed college students, we tend to forget the basic elements of life. Take some time to watch how your friends study and try each other’s methods; the results may surprise you and might even make studying more bearable.
9. Switch Up Your Own Techniques
Along the same lines of stealing your friends’ ideas, think about how you study individually. Do you write down calculus problem after calculus problem in pencil? Try switching to a gel pen with blue ink. If you need to memorize weird facts, try drawing them out or making crazy analogies to compare them with. Does your exam have an annoying list? Make an acronym so ridiculous that you won’t forget it. Do something unusual and stand out like Osceola thrusting his spear. Brighten up your studying routine by avoiding being mundane; have some fun and be creative with it.
10. TAKE A BREAK
Don’t kill yourself by forgetting to let your mind relax every now and then. Having a social life should be just as important as studying for that exam. So “take 10” after a study session and go bowling at Crenshaw Lanes, take a walk in Cascades, chill at one of our many fountains or go see our basketball team win a game. Your brain actually needs a chance to recuperate from all that information you just shoved in there. Take time to walk around on Landis, call up an old friend or go grab lunch with your pals and talk about anything but the exam you were just prepping for. Just don’t forget that you do need to return to your textbook at some point.
At the end of the day, studying never lies on a list of favorite things to do. “Nole”-body likes it and no one ever will. However, the above tips combined with that garnet and gold blood in your veins can help you keep that GPA high enough to make mom, dad and President Thrasher proud.