Tag Archives: studying

5 Secrets To Back-To-School Success

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Serena Piper Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

A new semester is upon us. If you’re like me, you look forward to the start of a new year, new classes, and a new chance at starting off on the right foot. Usually, we promise ourselves we’ll do better this time – we’ll study more, not go out as much, and maybe even meet with our professor (if we have to).

Sometimes goals like these can seem overwhelming after we get into the first few weeks of a new semester when things become less important, and we expect less of ourselves. But there are a few tips that might help your goal(s) seem easier and help you achieve back-to-school success.

1. Minimize Distractions

When it comes to where you’ll study, try not to isolate yourself to your bedroom. It’s good to separate your study area from your living area to restrain yourself from distractions and to maintain focus. Pick a quiet study spot, like the library. If it’s not quiet enough, bring earplugs or headphones to study while listening to music (unless this can become a distraction). Put your phone away in your backpack, too. As they say, out of sight out of mind. When you’re studying, the less distractions available around you, the more you will accomplish.

2. Find Inspiration

Take notice of who in your class is smart, volunteers, asks questions, sits up front, etc. Try to emulate that. If they don’t have their phone out, don’t have yours out. Seeing other students so focused on learning can be a major source of inspiration. Bonus: go the extra mile and form a study group with them. I did this while taking a very difficult math class (the most failed one at my university) and I passed by the miracle of studying with a group of girls determined to also pass.

3. Download Apps

Not all apps out there are for games! Use apps to help with your classes, homework, or to get organized. I recommend checking out Quizlet, Evernote, or myHomework. Ask your friends if they use any apps that are helpful for college.

4. Watch Your Stress Level

All work and no play, well, you know the rest. Studying and reading the book for your classes is important, but don’t overdo it. It’s easy to overwhelm yourself and feel like you have to get something done by a certain time. Remember you don’t have to sacrifice eating or sleep to get a good grade. The first week is a good time to get a good reading on how long you’ll spend studying for each class. We all study in our own way so don’t feel pressure to get things done right away. Take time to play!

5. Use Your Campus Resources

Advisers can be very helpful if you utilize them. Most of the time, before you sign up for classes, or even after if you’re thinking about changing your mind, they can recommend a class based on your learning style that will satisfy your requirements. Just ask!

What do you do to have a successful term? Share with us in the comments below!

Good luck this semester!

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3 Ways To Take The “Dying” Out Of Studying

Filed under: College Life, Education, Tips - Angelina
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Darlene Megino Blogger Biography

 

 

 

 

It’s finally November; meaning that the first college semester and quarter of school is nearing its end. If you are like me, you may be burnt out from studying for midterms and exams by now. Don’t stress! Here are three of my favorite tricks to making studying more interesting.

1. The Reward System

I learned this studying trick back when I was in elementary school. My parents used to reward me for completing homework assignments with tasty treats like ice cream or cookies. Luckily, I have continued this habit of rewarding myself after completing long studying sessions since I learned this to be a great motivation tool. Assign yourself a certain amount to study and have your reward waiting right beside you! I usually like to reward myself with things I rarely indulge in, such as a nice Starbucks drink or yummy cupcake treat! Or you could try the most infamous studying incentive – the gummy bear tactic.

2. Study Buddies

Throughout the past four years that I’ve been in school, I’ve really learned to love study groups! Having study buddies livens up the content that you are studying and you learn more when you study together. In previous study group sessions I’ve had, we like to play different games such as Jeopardy, Fact or Fiction, and Hedbanz. My favorite game is Hedbanz in which we use the actual game Hedbanz but replace the game cards with our flashcards. The objective of the game is for the rest of the players to define the word and the person with the word on their forehead has to guess the correct term that is on their flashcard without ever seeing it. You can mix up the rules so that the players have to explain a concept, event, theory – or whatever it is you are studying for – for you to guess.

3. Study While Working Out

I like to download my professor’s lectures and listen to them while I’m working out. If there is no podcast available, then I like to bring my notes or books and read them while I’m biking or on the elliptical. I’ve noticed that because I’m multitasking by running and reading, I really concentrate on reading the material. It really works for me, so give it a try!

Hope my three tricks for making studying more interesting will help you quickly grasp the material while also having a bit more fun. Instead of just sitting and reading the material, try these out.

Good luck with studying this semester!

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25 Favorite Five Minute Study Breaks

Filed under: College Life, Digital Interns, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Study breaks keep the gray matter in your head fresh after long periods of thinking. With that in mind, the BookRenter “Digiterns” (aka Digital Interns) compiled their favorite five minute study breaks (in no particular order). So when you’re feeling the mental burn, take five and be ready to cram even more knowledge into that noggin.

Websites

Real Life

  • 5 Minutes of Exercise

Apps

Online Games and Activities

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Everyone Loves a Sing-a-Long – Now in Study Flavor!

Filed under: College Life, Tips - BookRenter Team
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Making the perfect playlist for any situation is an art, and a playlist to study by is no exception. However, there are all kinds of conflicting data and studies out there telling us what the best kind of music is to improve focus, productivity, and retention. With all of that in mind, we’re testing our own theory; we built a playlist on Spotify of instrumental versions of popular modern songs that are either playing on the radio as we speak or you heard (read: sang) them at karaoke last weekend. No pesky lyrics will distract you when you’re in the zone, but the minute your mind starts to wander, you might really appreciate having a sing-a-long for a line or two.

Picture this: there you are, toiling away, studying for the GRE or the LSAT or the MCAT or…etc. Your mind starts to wander when all of a sudden…BOOM! You realize Sweet Home Alabama is playing in your ears. You start to sing along just to clear your mind for a moment, and then you’re ready to get back to the grind.

Give our list a listen here on Spotify and tell us if our theory worked for you!

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Keeping Cool During the Heat of Finals

Filed under: College Life - BookRenter Team
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By guest blogger Tiana Bouma
Tiana is a senior at University of Oregon double majoring in Political Science and Journalism with a focus in magazine. Her hometown is now Bend, OR but she graduated from high school in Danville, CA. After graduating from UO, she plans on traveling and working for National Geographic. During her spare time, she enjoys music, reading, sports and movies.

Finals are the best and worst parts of the term. On the one hand, it means one day closer to freedom (and summer!), but it also means time catching up and cramming is beginning to dwindle. During spring term when the sun is out, the last thing any of us want to do is sit inside and read through our notes and study guides.

The best thing to do is to create a balance between losing our marbles and having a little bit of fun during some well-earned study breaks.

Take a break and play frisbee with some friends! It'll get your endorphins going and help you study. Photo by Nathan Rupert.

The easy answer to making a little time for yourself during the upcoming finals period are things we do every day that may be taken for granted

  1. Go out for coffee with friends and take it on a walk. A walk around campus, or anywhere really, will help to get the blood flowing and reduce stress. The Vitamin D in sunshine will always help to increase your mood.
  2. When you are studying try to take breaks between subjects and items on your to-do-list. Even a fifteen-minute break from a subject will restart the creative juices and allow your brain to catch a little breathing room in between all of the information.
  3. Frisbee and pick-up basketball are perfect ways to relax from studying and stress while also increasing blood flow. The exercise combined with some friendly competition will release endorphins and give you a natural energy boost that just can’t be replicated by coffee after coffee.
  4. Take some time to just lie in the sun if you aren’t feeling athletically inclined. Just as taking a walk will help give you tons of Vitamin D, so too will relaxing in the sun. The Vitamin D will help with rejuvenating your brain and will also help you to return to studying faster. Just make sure you don’t fall asleep.

Overall, the important thing to remember is that you need to fully close the books and turn off the studying part of your brain while you take a break. Reading a magazine or a novel is still a break as long as your brain isn’t working hard to comprehend the material. Getting out of your chair and moving around will also help to make the break that much more rejuvenating.

Good luck with your finals!

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