Ok, lets be honest. We all start the semester thinking we’re going to stay on top of the ball, take notes on the readings so we won’t have to cram later, all the good stuff. But then midterms roll around…
Cramming doesn’t necessarily mean panic though. I’ve found that as long as I’m organized about it, I can actually get a lot done. So here’s my advice for making the most of that inevitable cram session:
1. Location, location, location: My room doesn’t work for me. I always think I’ll put on some headphones and get work done, but there’s just too much to distract me. Admitting that and heading over to Mugar or a study lounge always helps. (Finding a good spot is the other trick, since Mugar tends to fill up around midterms and finals.)
2. Music: I also had to admit to myself that playing music while studying is a bad idea. I spend too much time singing along in my head or making a new playlist, and all the sudden I’ve wasted half an hour. The exception I’ve found is my soundtrack station on Pandora. Added bonus is that homework feels a lot more important when the Dark Knight theme song is playing in the background.
3. Know your enemy. (Too dramatic?) Going into half a semester’s worth of readings without a gameplan is never helpful. Taking a minute to look at the syllabus and come up with a plan makes it a lot more manageable. I always try to rank the readings by what I think will be on the test, and start with those first.
4. Bring everything. Before I leave my room I make sure I have all the chargers I need, books, notebooks, etc. If I leave something behind I usually use it as an excuse to leave the library and head back.
5. No Internet! Admittedly I’m terrible with this one. It starts with one “I’ve been studying for a while, quick Facebook break” and next thing I know I’m taking Buzzfeed character quizzes for shows I don’t even watch. Don’t do it. Stay strong. You’re better than Buzzfeed.