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Alden Library at Ohio University.

Study hacks for a successful semester

Now that Syllabus Week is over, students are working on their first assignments of the school year. There can be stress that comes with the first couple of weeks of classes while trying to find what works best. The greatest way to survive is to find a place to study that feels right. Somewhere that is comfortable and calm can be beneficial.

"I like Court Street (Coffee) because I like their coffee, and that's my little treat for studying," Ellie Habel, a senior studying photojournalism, said. "That might be helpful too, go there and park myself there for four hours. And I'll be like, 'Well, you're gonna be here for a long time, but you get a coffee.'"

Another way to study is in groups. This can be done by finding a group of friends to work with in mutual classes. When there is a set time to meet, students may feel more inclined to be prepared for their sessions and fight procrastination. It also helps students gain a better understanding of the content.

"Find people in class that you are good with, also take really good notes, meet up with them and read over the material a lot," said Emma Schawbe, a freshman studying psychology.

According to the Institute of the Future of Education, handwritten notes are also key to studying, even if it may be faster to type them. When in lectures, it is proven that students will type word for word what is presented to them, while students who handwrite them tend to write them in their own words and have a deeper understanding. 

"I definitely like utilizing the whiteboards," Kate Perine, a sophomore studying psychology, said. "Even if I'm taking notes in a notebook I like to act like I'm teaching it … writing it out and pretending like I'm explaining it (to others)."

Time management is also key to staying on top of a student's studies. It may be helpful to have a planner or list out all assignments for the semester to better gauge when they are due. Also, identify time wasters and try to eliminate them while studying.

Establishing a routine in college can also be beneficial. It helps to finish assignments in a timely manner and makes finishing tasks feel like second nature. Make sure to add time to rest and reset into that routine. It is important to take time off and destress.

Deciding what noise level works best is essential. Try finding or creating a study playlist for background noise or working on a group level floor of Alden Library if background noise works best. If silence is a better option, pick a higher level of the library or a quiet outdoor space.

"I feel like I'm a weird studier, I can't study in silence," Habel added. “I need to go to places with people around. I feel like that's not typical for most students."

The age-old myth of chewing gum while studying and then during a test is proven to be true, according to the National Library of Medicine. It can help with alertness, cognitive function and learning. 

No tip or trick will be better than getting a good night of sleep. Unfortunately, getting only one eight-hour night of sleep is not enough. To see true progress, get multiple nights of enough sleep before hitting the textbooks.


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