Studying for finals looks slightly different this year than usual. Without access to Lauinger Library or the other study spots on campus, it can be hard to stay focused. I am currently living at home with my family, so I understand the difficulties of not having a quiet place to study. In fact, sometimes it can be hard to stay focused even when it is quiet just because we all spend most of our time stuck in one place. Since transitioning to online learning last spring, I have had to adapt to the new environment. These are some tips for studying that I have found to be helpful to keep me focused:
1. Create a space for studying and classes:
At first transitioning to online learning made it so tempting to do all of my work in bed. Although that setup was quite comfortable, I quickly realized that studying on my bed made it really easy for me to get distracted. Studying and taking classes in a designated study space has made it much easier to concentrate. Having a study space free of clutter and distraction allows me to stay focused and remind myself it is time to get my work done.
2. Make a schedule:
It can be so easy to watch TV and tell yourself that you will study later but setting a schedule on your calendar helps remind you to study. I have found it helpful to set study times as well as breaks to keep me on track and focused. It will also help ensure you don’t spend too much studying without breaks or spend too much time focused on one subject. Google calendar or using a planner are great tools.
3. Set goals:
Every semester it is very helpful to make goals that you want to achieve by the end of the semester. Those goals serve as reminders throughout the semester of why you should stay focused. The bigger picture of what you are working for while studying will motivate you continue to work hard.
4. Remove distractions:
When studying, it is easy to pick up your phone and forget why you are studying or get distracted by background noises. Sometimes removing distraction can simply mean placing your phone far away so you will be less likely to get up to check it. Other times, removing distractions can be harder because background noises at home are not always in your control. I have found that when my house is filled with noises from my little siblings playing, it is really helpful to plug in earphones and listen to classical music in order to block out the distractions.
5. Reach out to your professors and classmates:
Although we are not all in the same place, professors and classmates still play large roles in your academic success. Professors are generally responsive and always willing to help give you more tools to help you study. Making a virtual study group with your classmates or merely collaborating on a study guide is helpful for making sure you are not missing important information when you study.
I hope these tips were helpful. Good luck during finals season!