It’s like those New Year’s resolutions we keep trying to repair; always trying to adjust and make conducive to our time restraints and daily routines. It’s called effectively studying and, according to The New Yorker, we spend less time studying than ever before. It is reported that students in 1961 reported studying an average of 25 hours a week, now that average has been halved to between 12 and 13 hours. But studying is very personal: from certain foods to certain lighting, studying must be individualized to be effective. So take notes and be sure to review!
Location, Location, Location
Much like selecting a good neighborhood to inhabit, finding the perfect studying spot is important for both comfort and staying on task.
“I try not to study in my dorm because there are so many distractions,” said Old Dominion University sophomore Brittany Kang. “The study area in my building has a hallway that’s always empty so doing a couple of cartwheels wakes me up a little.”
If studying in the dorm isn’t your thing, use resources your school offers such as the computer lab or a study lounge.
“I can only work in the computer lab,” said Villanova University sophomore, Matt Snyder. “Being around other people motivates me to do my work plus I feel awkward randomly browsing the Internet on a computer that’s not my own.”
A good rule of thumb is to find a place where you can spread out all of your materials, focus and be comfortable without disturbing others. It also has to embody a scholarly air; you wouldn’t plop down and study at a bench in the mall, unless you wanted to continuously get distracted.
Like everything else, there’s an app for that
Take your studying on the go with helpful and convenient apps made for the major operating systems. But wait! Some students are afraid that even touching their computer or phone will open up a world of inefficiency.
“If I actually want to focus while studying, I need to be sitting at a desk, have my phone off, and stay off the Internet as much as possible,” sophomore Molly Nelson said.
The answer: make your computer work for you. The internet can be your study buddy offering everything from digital flashcards to anti-distraction apps.
“I like to use this really cool app called Self-Control,” said Dartmouth University freshman Lola Ojabowale. “It allows me to block certain web sites for as little as an hour to as long as a day.”
Like Self-Control, there are hundreds of anti-distraction apps. Go to the app store for your device and search the topic you want to study. Chances are, it has an app.
Food is power
As they old adage goes, you are what you eat. No, no, no, of course not literally, but studies do show that certain foods trigger the brain and increase mental alertness. From the sweetness of oranges, to the cognitive memory properties of chocolate, eating light and healthy is just plain cleaner when trying to study.
“I don’t generally eat when I study because I feel like I get distracted in my food,” said Howard University freshman, Kofo Lasaki. “When I feel like I have to have something, I really love white cheddar popcorn, its not too messy, lasts a long time, and tastes delicious.”