The Brock Press is looking out for our peers at Brock University. We understand it can be tough to stay on to of your workload as university can become tough at times. We understand that like all of us, most students have a part-time job to go along with their studying.
We want to share some of our tips on how we study and the habits we have built to become successful. Having a job and being in school isn’t easy, so one must find ways to become organized before succeeding in studying.
Below four of our editors go deep into their methods and habits, and we hope this is helpful to your success this year at Brock.
Assignment due dates and midterms are around the corner, so if you would like more tips from our staff on how to be prepared let us know on our Facebook page, or tweet at us @TheBrockPress.
You can also email our Editor-in-Chief at firstname.lastname@example.org to request more studying and school tips to become a successful student.
The Brock press wants to see you become a top student and we will do our best to give the best advice possible. So enjoy our editors advice for this week.
Kat Powell | Internal News Editor
Personally, one of the most helpful elements that I put into my regular study routine is background noise and (often) music! Some students find it helpful to use their regular everyday music for enjoyment, but I have a difficult time focusing and working productively unless my music is either instrumental or in a different language than one I speak. I will also often put on ambient sounds in the background such as birds chirping or rainfall.
Studying for me is all about location. It’s difficult for me to be productive and focused if I’m typing on my laptop cozied up in bed as opposed to sitting upright at a desk or table writing or typing. I find myself most productive while at home, either inside or outside, but some may find places on campus or other quiet spaces off campus to be more beneficial to their work productivity. Finally, I always make sure I have some kind of a snack beside me while I work. This can either be a fuel for me of some kind like coffee or granola bars, or a reward for studying and getting through say, a chapter of a book I’m reading for class. For instance, I lay down a small hard candy or gummy on a paragraph in my book on my desk, and once I finish that paragraph plus one or two more, I find another. It’s like mini celebrations for getting work done!
Joanna Ward | Specialty News Editor
When it comes to study time, what works best for me is finding a quiet, comfortable place to sit. Of course, it can’t be too quiet or too comfortable, then I’ll get distracted or zone out. The best place for me on campus is probably the first floor of the Gibson library in the ‘quiet’ study section. I sit down with my giant pile of books, a cup of coffee from Common Grounds, and a pair of headphones. I don’t listen to music but it stops people from interrupting me and if it gets too quiet I can put on some ambient noise. I set up a timer to keep myself on track. I’ve always found that if I have a limited amount of time in which to do something I tend to get more accomplished. The timer I use gives me 25 minutes of work time and then a 5 minute break so I can drag my eyes away from my text books for a couple of minutes, answer my texts, check my social media, and have a bit of a stretch. I like to study in big chunks of time, a few hours all together between classes, and then use my evenings for relaxing and assignments so I don’t get too overwhelmed.
Rachel Sterzai | Opinion Editor
When it comes to studying, I prefer to put it off until the last possible minute and just stew in the panic that it presents me with. I’m a horrible studier and apparently this means I work best under crippling pressure. Always have been and, as hard as I may try, probably always will be. You’d think I would learn from my mistakes but you would be very wrong. However, when I finally do get around to hitting the books, I can sit there for hour upon hour (but definitely not without getting distracted all the time).
Studying with other people also helps me a lot. So when I really have to crack down and focus I’ll FaceTime my best friend who goes to university at McGill and we’ll spend hours studying together or working on whatever it is we need to get done – most of the time we won’t even be talking to each other.
And of course there’s music and TV. Being in silence, in general, makes me uncomfortable. So when it’s work time, the tunes or television are always going to try to keep me going. Plus occasional study breaks for dance parties are always fun and get the creative juices flowing again.
Shannon Parr | Arts & Culture Editor
Personally, sitting in a clean and organized space does wonders for my study habits. To sit down at a desk that is orderly means absolutely zero distraction with clutter; not only that, but it also leaves room for setting a mug of steaming hot coffee or tea beside whatever it is I’m working on. If you’re not at home, finding a clean space is as easy as going to the library or a cafe.
That being said, in those public spaces there can be a new issue: noise. I find that there are two different study days: those where you work well with a little background chatter and those where you just cannot focus with any background voices at all. On the latter days, my best suggestion is to find a playlist online of classical, ambient or electronic music; literally, anything without vocals. This way you can stay motivated and energized with a solid playlist, and still get things done!
Finally, the thing that helps me out most while studying is getting motivated. Take a second to remember why you are here and what your goals are. This helps a lot with focus, as sometimes it is very easy to get caught up in how much you have to do and how easy it would be to do something other than school. Of course it is incredibly important to take breaks and pay attention to your own needs, but don’t forget what all of this work is really for.