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Student study routines and other helpful tips

Studying is an important part of earning good grades. The two most important factors to consider are location and strategies.  

Studying in your room can provide a lot of distractions. Personally, when I’m studying in my room, I find myself thinking about all of the things I could be doing instead of studying like playing a video game or drawing.  

Here are some alternatives to studying in your room or dorm.  

Libraries are great places to study. At Axe Library, there are several spaces where you can find a study nook and hunker down to get some work done. Another benefit of studying in Axe Library is that the Axe Grind coffee shop is on the first floor and you can grab a coffee before or while you’re studying.  

The Overman Student Center has several places that are good to study at. On the first floor, there’s always the hallway next to Pizza Hut or the lounge area next to the Gorilla Bookstore. The lounge area is usually pretty quiet but both places are good to study if you don’t mind light traffic.  

In the basement of the Overman Student Center, you will find Einstein Bros. Bagels. There is always music playing and its usually filled with people so if you don’t mind some noise and traffic, that is good place to study.  

Sitting outside in the Oval is another great place to study if you are okay with background noise. There is always something happened in or around the oval, whether it’s a student organization having fundraiser or a group of students playing a game. It provides a nice environment for studying.  

While it’s not technically on campus, Root Coffeehouse is always a good place to study. There is something about coffee shops like Root and Starbucks that make for a great studying environment.  

When choosing a location to study, you need to consider what works best for you. If you enjoy background noise, libraries, coffee shops, and the Oval are good places to study. If you prefer quiet environments, the Overman Student Center (away from the high traffic areas), parks. 

Those are some good locations but if none of these appeal to you, ask around. Ask professors what they think, ask your friends, even ask people you are walking next to around campus.  

There are many misconceptions about the “right” way to study. Here are some strategies that I use when studying and that I have found work for me  

Use two notebooks when taking notes, one for taking notes in class and one for copying the notes at home or back in your dorm. When taking notes in class, they are usually messy and filled with scribbles and mistakes which is why it’s important to have another notebook at home that you use to copy the notes in a more organized and neater format.  

When you are taking notes, you don’t have to write down what the professor says word for word. Take notes in your own words. These are your notes and they need to make sense to you.  

Students are far less likely to remember information if they are just reading a textbook and taking notes. Using techniques to guide your studying is great way to take in information and retain it. Techniques like mnemonic devices. Some students may already be familiar with this topic. PEMDAS or Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally is an acronym for parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction. Another one is PMAT which stands for prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase which are the phases of mitosis. Mnemonic devices aren’t the only technique that enhances studying strategies. Do some research and find one that works best for you.  

While this is not necessarily a strategy, it’s important to know that you should take breaks while you’re studying. Studying consistently for several hours is not an effective strategy. What I like to do is study for 30 minutes and then take a five to ten-minute break. During breaks, you should refuel. Drink some water or grab a coffee. Nutritious foods have been shown to assist in concentration and memory.  

Every student is different. Studying can be difficult but if you know yourself, what environments you work better in and what strategies works best for you then studying can be a breeze.  

Build a routine and stick to it but make sure to try everything so you know what conditions you thrive in.  

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