Last time, I talked about what to do while breaking from studying. In college, like in most high schools, finals are a fact of life.
Now, with finals just around the corner, it's time to stop breaking and start studying! If you're like me, your study spot can make or break your studying. A spot that's too quiet, too noisy, too bright, too dim, etc. might make your experience delightful or miserable. Below, I've listed some of my favorite study spots at William Woods and around Fulton.
- Brick District Playhouse/Playhouse Bistro
A newer addition to Fulton, this quaint coffee shop is a delightful choice for studying. Again, there's coffee available, but it also has a bright atmosphere and lots of tables for studying. And, when you get hungry, you can grab lunch.
- Library Lower Level
I love studying in the basement in the library. There are chalkboards for reviewing material, beanbag chairs to kick back in, desks, books, study rooms, and library resources are at your fingertips. During finals week, the library is open until 2 a.m., which leaves lots of time for cramming!
- McNutt Campus Center
This one is not for everyone because it's definitely louder, but I love studying in McNutt because I don't feel so isolated. There are computers and desks upstairs and couches and chairs downstairs, so you can pick the best spot for the work you're doing. Plus, you're right next to the Owl's Nest, so coffee is at your immediate disposal!
- Barnes & Noble
You have to drive to Columbia or Jefferson City to study at Barnes & Noble, so it's not always the most available spot. But, there's coffee! And, I personally love B&N because there's books everywhere and it has a scholarly, peaceful atmosphere.
- Residence Hall Common Areas
Many of the dorms have study areas with whiteboards that are perfect for reviewing material. I live in R. B. Cutlip Residence Hall, which has two, small, conference-style rooms with boards that are ideal for studying material or completing projects with groups. Sometimes, these areas get busy, but other times they are very quiet, so you can tailor your experience depending on the time and day.
Besides the spots I've listed, there are all sorts of study areas around William Woods. Many buildings have tables and chairs or designated study areas. Or, if the weather is nice, you can sit by the Junior Lake dock or outside McNutt.
It's the busiest time of the year for studying, so where do you plan to camp out this finals time?
Next week marks midterms for this semester. It is crazy how quickly time flies at The Woods! Coming to college I was very concerned about how I would keep up and handle the course loads, but I've found with a little planning ahead and good study habits I can get what I want out of my classes.
My Best 10 Study Habits:
#10: Try New Things!- Do you ever get into a pattern of studying exactly the same way every time? When I came to college the only way I knew how to study was to re-write my notes and go over them again and again. Now I've used several different strategies like flash cards, creating a study guide, and watching YouTube videos (Be cautious! Make sure they are accurate!). Using different strategies helps me focus, and it makes studying a little less boring.
#9: Get a Buddy- Study buddies are great! I have a friend or sorority sister in every class here at William Woods. Whenever a test is coming up, we study together. That way we have each other to use if we missed a comment that a professor made in class, or if one of us understands a certain concept a little better. It's important to be careful when choosing your buddy. You want someone who has the same motivations that you have and will help you while you help them!
#8: Switch it Up- Sitting down and looking at one subject for hours is not very effective. Give your brain a break and switch topics every so often. That way you stay more interested and focused on what you are reviewing.
#7: Find a Comfortable Space- If you aren't comfortable, you'll spend more time thinking about changing your position or moving around than studying! Pick a quiet spot with a nice place to sit and a surface to write on. That way you will be able to focus on what you're doing, not where you are.
#6: Test Yourself- I do this before all big tests. I write questions out that I think might be on the test and I make sure I can answer them. Be sure that you include the topics you aren't as sure about, that way you can see what you know and identify your confusion.
#5: Teach Someone Else- If you can teach it, you probably know it! Find a friend or a sibling who wouldn't mind listening to you teach them something so you can check your own understanding.
#4: Don't Get Highlighter Happy- Colors are great, especially to point out key ideas and topics. If you use too much, however, it will lose its significance. Only highlighting key points/words/ideas especially the ones you struggle with will train your brain to pay attention to those specific points.
#3: Minimize Distraction- Turn off the TV, put your phone down, and get off the Internet! These little things can become huge distractions and take a way a lot of valuable study time!
#2: Give Yourself a Reward- Rewards are great, especially if you are working on a subject or assignment that you aren't excited about. Give your self a break after you master that one challenging topic. Eat a snack or a little piece of candy (I use Starbursts) after reading five pages of that dense textbook. This way you have incentive to keep going forward!
#1: Plan Ahead!- Studying the night before and only the night before is a bad habit. It is better to review a little at a time a few days before hand, and then do a final review when the test gets closer. If you leave all your studying to the night before odds are you will stay up to late and not get enough sleep before your test! Use a calendar or planner to write down those pesky test dates, and pay attention so they don't sneak up on you!
Last week we had some time off for Thanksgiving break. My family flew in to St. Louis and we spent the holiday with my grandparents. I helped make Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Then on Friday we went out into the shopping madness and bought Christmas gifts. I have a lot of wrapped boxes to take back home after finals because my parents couldn't fly with them. Some of them are for me which makes it really tempting to peek!
We also went to Ted Drewes, a frozen custard stand found only in St. Louis. My parents met in the city and often went on dates to the custard stand. It is one of our family favorite places to visit. When my dad drives out to see his family he often brings back cups of it on dry ice. If we visit St. Louis we always make a trip, even if it is freezing cold outside! We're a little addicted to it.
This semester is wrapping up very quickly. It is our last week of class and then next week we have final exams. I can't believe that we're almost halfway through the year! Last night I helped decorate my sorority with Christmas things. It was really fun and relaxing. I love the holiday season. Giving gifts is one of my favorite things to do and everyone seems just a little bit brighter this time of year.
With lots of assignments and tests to study for, everyone is busy with school work. There is a bit of a rush to finish up for the semester and get in a few more memories with seniors who graduate this month. This will be my last post of the semester. I hope you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!