Study to Success, Minus the Stress

By Meredith Sweet on October 6, 2017

Brace yourself: midterms are coming.

The good news is that you've made it this far. Congratulations! The transition from high school to college isn't easy, but you've managed to work hard and push through it. Now all you have to do is prove how much you've learned.

Though studying is never fun, it is an effective way to prepare yourself ahead of time. Don't let yourself rely on cramming the night before, or worse, pulling an all-nighter. Here are five habits for studying your way to success without succumbing to the stresses of college life.

Don't Feel the Burn, Fuel the Learn

1. Make time.

The first step to studying is figuring out when you're going to do it. This does require some foresight, and maybe a few sacrifices, but it means less pain in the long-run. Again, you do not want to put off studying for a big test until the night before. Try to work on it little by little for at least a week ahead of time, and you'll remember more.

2. Pick a consistent place.

Maybe it's easy for you to concentrate in your dorm. Maybe you like to head to a nearby coffee shop. Maybe you like to study in the campus library. Wherever your favorite spot is, go ahead and make that your distraction-free zone. The more often you study there, the more your brain will associate that behavior with what you've been learning.

3. Motivate yourself.

Pick rewards for different milestones. Choose a pump-up playlist. Treat yourself. There are plenty of ways to sprinkle a little fun into your study routine.

4. Choose your methods.

This is strictly a matter of personal taste. Some people like flashcards. Others use memory devices. Some students even like acting out their study terms. Regardless of your studying strategy, it's best to pick only one or two to focus on. Too much variety can become a distraction, and that's the last thing you need when you're trying to study.

5. Stick with it.

Don't let procrastination get the best of you. It's easy to see all of your new friends going out and having fun without you, and then rationalize that your social life is more important than your academic one. Remember: your friends will be there after you ace your test. Before then, you have a responsibility to yourself and your professors to do your best.

The Takeaway

Here's the most important thing to remember when studying for exams: take care of yourself. Don't skip meals, and don't lose sleep because you procrastinated the day before. The worse you treat yourself, the harder it will be for you to study, so take it easy. You can do it!