Focused and Fresh: Keeping Yourself Motivated While Studying

Studying in Fondren
Studying in Fondren Photo credit: Lindsay Rorschach

With midterms creeping around the corner, it can be so overwhelming thinking about all of your different tests to study for, papers to write, and other nuisance tasks that you have to complete. Over the years, I have found some studying rituals that help me stay focused and keep a fresh mind. These tips are not just for midterms but for any daunting test you have throughout the year too!

1. Make a list:

Whenever I am stressed and feel like I have a million things to do, I start by write a list. For me writing lists allows me to not only organize myself but to prioritize what I need to do first. And, most of the time, it is not as bad as you think once you see everything written down.

2. Separate your study place from your resting place:

Do not study in the same place where you sleep or relax! This can be hard, especially if you live in a dorm because your desk is often in the same room as your bed. Distractions easily arise in your own room with friends coming in to chat or a tempting bed right next to you. Some of my favorite places to study on/around SMU campus are the Reading Room in Fondren Library, the Blue Level 1.5 Mezzanine in Fondren Library, study rooms around campus or in residential commons, Foxtrot, and Starbucks.

3. Grab a study buddy:

Studying with a friend or making a study group, is always great because you get to share notes and information that you may have missed from class or lectures. This allows you guys to quiz each other and tests how well you truly know the material. Plus, you have each other to be accountable for staying on task.

4. Utilize a planner:

Write down when each test or assignment is due. This helps you plan when to start studying. My best advice is to begin looking over class material and notes about three days before the big day! This helps you retain more information so that you can better recall it during the exam.

5. Study breaks:

After so long, it is so easy for your mind to feel fogged and full of so much information that you cannot possibly continue to study. Get up, walk around, go grab a coffee or snack, and then come back. It refreshes and energizes your brain and allows you to keep working hard!

6. Wear your comfiest sweatshirt:

When I am studying or doing homework, I have to be as comfortable as possible. I have figured out that studying and taking the test in my favorite sweatshirts is key to staying focused and crushing the big day.

I hope some of these studying tips can help you stay focused and fresh to get that A+, happy studying!

Lindsay Rorschach

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