Stay studious in the sun
On those days when beams of sunlight are coming through the blinds and the thought of spending one more minute among stacks of books or in your stuffy dorm room is too much to bear, take it outside! It might sound challenging, but studying can be done outside. The trick is to find something on your massive to-do list that can be checked off while getting your daily dose of Vitamin D.
The best part about studying outside is that you don’t need anything to do it. Just go out there and lay in the grass with your books and enjoy the sweet clean air around you. And hey, if you want to make the experience even better, bring a blanket or a beach towel to lay on or even a hammock or a folding chair.
So when warm weather calls, don’t ignore it — just grab your shades and a textbook to combine cramming with satisfying your spring fever. Leave the laptop behind and you might find yourself actually reading that hefty anthropology textbook instead of checking Facebook every five minutes. And no, that doesn’t count as studying anthropology.
Learn your study style
If you’re the type of person who can sit in a silent room for hours on end and get everything on your to-do list checked off, great. Some people need to set up regular study breaks in order to get through a tough term paper or the study guide for a final exam. The trick is to be realistic. Don’t try to plow through something you wouldn’t normally do just to get it done. Holing up in your apartment with the blinds closed or hiding away in the library while your friends work on their tan might not be the answer.
Instead of fighting your personal study style, work with it. Write down every task that you need to finish within your day or weekend and get started, item by item. Putting everything you need to do down on paper will not only ensure that you don’t forget anything but also will show you exactly what needs to be done. Lists help almost everyone at some point. Finish as much as you can in, say, 20-minute blocks of time, and take short breaks in between.
For a break you could always:
- Make a quick call home
- Tidy up your apartment or dorm room (think spring cleaning!)
- Check Facebook and Instagram
- Respond to a few e-mails
- Catch up on your favorite web site
- Do a mini work out with some streaches
- Grab a quick snack and turn on the tv for a show
- Do what ever helps you relax, at least for a little bit. Don’t fall asleep!
Making good use of your time is important, but you know what they say about all work and no play. Once you finish the last chapter of a challenging novel or work out that last equation, find an active way to celebrate your determination and the warmer weather. Grab a group of friends and throw a Frisbee around or just lay out in the sun and soak it in responsibly. Maybe take a walk down to Frog Island just to enjoy the day.
It is easier to motivate yourself to study if you reward yourself with a tangible payoff, such as a snack, TV show, or phone call to a friend when you finish. You should set realistic study goals and then reward yourself when you meet them.
Do the worst first
Usually, if you have a big pile of work to do you’ll work on the little things first to get them out of the way and put the most difficult project or assignment off. This is all well and good for the other 7 months of the semester, but when spring rolls around and there are festivals, formals and flings filling up your schedule, the last thing you’ll have room for is a time-consuming assignment.
By finishing this assignment as soon as possible, you’ll free up your time for fun and have plenty of time left in between your social commitments for smaller assignments. Getting the worst over with can be the biggest relief all year when all of your friends are slogging through the worst of it on a nice 70 degree day.