When it comes to studying, one of five things is likely to happen college students...
1) They stumble upon more enticing opportunities...i.e. IU basketball games, nice weather, friends stopping by to chat, etc...
2) They get distracted by hunger. Finding food, eating, and escaping the scene without running into someone you know is nearly impossible to do in under 20 minutes.
3) They nap. Sleep > studying for 96.7% of us...
4) They suddenly find that 10 minutes "checking their e-mail" has led to two hours on social media sites.
5) They get bored by the same old routine of studying.
Now, I've not yet figured out how to fix numbers one thru four, and I doubt that anyone this century will. We are college students, after all...social, hungry, sleep-deprived college students. And while we're here for an education first and foremost, we're not always thinking about studying first and foremost. Let's not kid ourselves.
But we're working on it.
In fact, I am working on counteracting number five on this list-- the boredom of a studying routine.
So, instead of snuggling up with your cramped desk for hours on end in a dimly-lit room with almost zero patience, consider one of the following alternatives in order to re-energize that study time--
1) Slice up work into sections. Reading 50 pages is a lot more manageable when you break that into 10 pages at a time. If you try to power through the reading all at once, you'll just be forcing yourself to finish and probably won't retain much information.
2) Go outside! Even ten minutes outside can revamp a bad mood. The sun does wonders.
3) Find your new study niche. Study in Wells, another campus library, a lounge, outside, or in one of the many eateries and cafes lining Kirkwood and the surrounding area.
4) Figure out your learning style and embrace it. As we discussed in my peer instructor class in the Global Village, Q299, everyone has a unique learning style. Chances are, if you're studying in a way that doesn't suit how you best learn, you're not going to perform as well as you could. If you're a visual person, reading the textbook chapters over and over again may be a waste of your time. Instead, draw diagrams, pictures, and charts to reinforce the readings. Be efficient about how you study.
5) Surround yourself with things that will motivate you. Turn on background music. Fill the room with plenty of light. Put on some comfy clothes. Pull out a little of that chocolate you've been saving from your Valentine's Day care package. Use bright colors to copy down notes or key terms. Organize with lists and note cards. Take time to laugh off the stress.
You've got this. Now go study.