Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Realistic study tips for a realistic academic life

There are a lot of tips floating around campus about the best approaches to studying and writing long papers. Why, then, are both of those so easy to screw up during crunch time? Because most study tips fail to depict student life with any accuracy.  The Pioneer is determined to providing realistic study tips that will revolutionize the world of academia. Or help you out a little bit during finals this year.

1. Limit your access to the Internet
This is essential. While a lot of study tips suggest trying to cut yourself off entirely (which is clearly impossible), if you can’t post self-pitying Facebook statuses about how much you have to do, you’ll feel so terrible nothing will get done anyway. Compromise and take a five- to 10-minute Internet break every hour. Knowing you get a break will immediately cheer you up and might just keep you on task.

2. Don’t skip over an easy class to study for the hard ones
It might be tempting to think, “Hey, I’ll just ignore [insert easy class here] because [insert hard class here] is just too hard.” Don’t do it. Unless the professor has told you that you’re guaranteed 100 percent because you are sleeping with him or her, neglecting any class entirely is a bad idea. What you need to do is balance your work level with how hard a given class is: which shouldn’t mean abandoning anything.

3. If you have a study-related problem, talk to a professor about it
Most of us are frightened at the prospect of truthfully explaining our problems to our professors. But while it may be hard to accept, professors are human beings with human emotions. Explain yourself to your professors honestly, but watch the word choice. Don’t deceive them; just leave out certain details about the reason you need that extension: “I had trouble concentrating last weekend” over “I had an excess of drank last weekend.” You get the idea.

4. Take out your frustrations on your books (AKA book attacking)
Mediation is a commonly recommended study technique and it works for some. But for those of us for whom it does not work (not everyone is hippie), release can be found in beating people with the books you are reading. Simply take a break, grab a large and particularly vexing hardcover, find a meditating hippie and beat him or her with it fairly hard. It’ll make you feel good.*

*Not actually recommended.

5. Acknowledge that your inevitable feelings of despair are just symptoms of stress
The phrases “don’t let it get to you” and “stay strong” are often thrown around in ways no one ever appreciates. Of course, stress is going to get to you, and you might despair as if it’s the end of the world, depending on how bad the situation is. So let it get to you all you want; just realize that in a couple of weeks your ingenuity will have solved the problems. Convince yourself that everything will get better, eventually. It always does. So stay strong!

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