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Opinion

Kicking the J-term habits, getting into a new studying groove

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February 3, 2012

New classes, new professors and fresh school supplies. All this means it’s a new semester at UWRiver Falls. It’s always somewhat exciting to start all over after a stressful previous semester, but when you’ve had a month off of school and then have to come back and jump right into homework, it can be rather difficult to get back into the swing of things.

I will be the first one to admit that I have a really hard time getting back into my routine of studying and doing homework after a month off of doing nothing but working, hanging out with friends and, of course, what every college student enjoys doing, sleeping. However, when I got back to school I thought I was actually in a good mindset for once about buckling down and studying right off the bat. But, when I got my textbooks from Textbook Services and discovered that I needed not five, not 10, but 28 textbooks, I immediately started wishing there was a rewind button for winter break. How would I be able to keep 28 textbooks straight? Well, let’s just say I needed a good way to stay organized.

Most students probably struggle with getting back into the studying and doing homework just as much as I do. Start off with a good night’s sleep, that will help you tremendously and you will have more energy to get through the day. I understand that sometimes socializing can interfere with your sleep schedule but, honestly, there are times when we have to make sacrifices. Having enough sleep will ensure that you don’t walk through campus looking like a zombie who isn’t focusing on anything else but their pillow.

Make sure you also have a planner or some kind of calendar that you can go through and write all of your assignments down for the semester. There are professors that have their entire course outlined with assignments on their syllabus, so making sure you have it all planned out ahead of time will give you the chance to actually see what you have to do each day. Personally, my planner is basically glued to my hand during school because I want to make sure I get everything done and have time to relax and hang out with my friends, too.

Another important thing you need to do to make sure you get back into the swing of things is having a study area. Whether it’s the study lounge of your dorm building, your room, or the library, having a place where you know you’ll be able to achieve your studying and homework goals for day is very important.

Make sure you won’t be distracted from your studies with anything or you’ll be back at square one. Separating yourself from things you know will keep you from your work will make your list of things to do dwindle down a lot faster than if you stopped every five minutes to watch a TV show. I admit that I often find myself listening to background noise from my TV or even my iTunes on shuffle and then the next thing I know, I’m either actually watching the show that’s on or humming along to the song that’s playing. I now make sure that all my electronics are off and I’m strictly focusing on my studying. Let me tell you, I get done with my work a lot faster now than I did when I let myself get distracted.

Now that spring semester is underway and homework is starting to pile up, it’s time to make sure you are on the right track to being successful. Although everyone has their own ways of studying and homework, making sure that you start off the new semester in a positive way and not let winter break have an everlasting affect on you is important. Happy studying and best wishes for this semester! Just remember, when you find yourself unmotivated, summer is right around the corner and you can get through this semester.

Samantha Mayberry is a junior and is majoring in journalism. She is from Rochester, Minn., and loves to read, listen to music and take pictures.

Comments

Rachel on 08 Feb 2012: When I need to buckle down and write an important paper I listen to music without lyrics (or very little lyrics) to stay energized without finding myself humming or singing along in my head. I've gone form classical to jazz to dubstep, all depends on the kind of paper/homework.