‘The Big Crash’ came with midterms of fall semester my sophomore year. The weekend before my three Monday midterms, you would have found me with over five pounds of textbooks, a laptop charged at 33%, three pens shoved in various pockets (one regrettably missing its cap), and about 3,000 index cards, and before you even ask, no, they were not organized in one of those cute accordion-recipe card holder things. I think I realized I needed a study-habit intervention when I walked into my 8 a.m. with a Rinnova Killer Bee in one hand and a Java Monster Loca Moca from the Dollar General in the other.
From the Center of Biblical and Theological Studies’ (BTS) atrium constantly filled with light to the third floor of the Engineering and Science Building where the windows look over our beloved Cedar Lake, there are an overabundance of places of peace and quiet to study across the entirety of campus (check out other posts by students Valerie Link and Angela Farlow for more spots to study and find some peace of mind).
I’m here to tell you that you can choose any place on our campus to study (I mean, within reason…please refrain from scaling buildings because the perfect study spot is not on the roof of the Dixon Ministry Center). Choose a spot (whether it’s the Lower Steven Students Center (SSC), the Global Outreach Center, or right outside Founders Hall) and follow these four tips:
- Don’t be afraid to move around: Sometimes a change of scenery after staring at physics notes is healthy, so don’t be shy if you need to get up and stretch, change locations, or even take a five-minute brain break and scroll through Instagram. Moving around periodically not only helps you physically, but it gives your mind much-needed rest from built-up tension, preventing information overload. If you really cannot find a place on campus, try Beans-n-Cream or Orions for a quiet coffee shop study vibe within walking distance of campus.
- Wear earbuds/airpods/headphones — they are the universal sign of “I’m busy, don’t talk to me.”: Sometimes I don’t even have music playing but if I have my earbuds in, I rarely find myself interrupted by others, even when I am studying in places where I know I am going to see my friends, like Rinnova or the BTS. Noise canceling headphones are a plus to help with focusing and just to tune out to the world around you.
- Drink green tea — it is a Lifesaver: OK, so I am not the biggest fan of matcha or green tea myself, but, let me tell you, it has not only saved my wallet (it’s $2 for an entire box!), but it has also helped me stay awake in the morning without the dire consequences of double fisting black coffee. If you aren’t ready to fully commit to a green tea lifestyle, check out some of these alternatives to coffee!
- Get enough sleep … seriously: All of your phones now come equipped with bedtime features and greyscale timers that help you wind down before bed. These apply during midterms too, don’t snooze through these helpful alarms! Six to eight hours of sleep is necessary to retain any of the late-night cramming you did to prep for your exam. Also, sleeping during normal hours of the day will prevent you from falling asleep in one of the upper SSC comfy chairs (definitely not guilty of that…) Sleep, sans cellphone, and soak up all that knowledge through healthy and well-deserved rest.
You don’t have to experience ‘The Big Crash’ like I did. You can start your year off on the right foot, and it doesn’t take giving up your favorite caffeinated beverage cold turkey. I can honestly say that I have improved my study habits, which not only resulted in me being on the Dean’s List last semester (yay, God!) but enabled me to surve another midterm week without the dark circles of sleep deprivation or even the need to caffeinate every two hours. However, if you want to surprise me with a frozen Boston from Rinnova during finals this semester, I will not turn you away!
Good Luck and Happy Studying!
Majoring in Strategic Communications, Class of 2021
Favorite Song: ‘Dirt’ by The Collection
Food That Reminds Me of Home: Condado Tacos in Columbus
Favorite Book: Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World by Max Lucado