Step 1: Find yourself a solid studying spot. Atmosphere can be key to a successful study session. For example, if you are trying to study outside in the middle of a bunch of Oklahoma thunderstorms and earthquakes, chances are high that you will not remember much of your notes (if they haven’t already been swept up in the latest tornado). Summary: Unless you’re a robot, avoid inclement weather. I’d also suggest choosing somewhere at least 10 feet away from the nearest bed-like object. Other “no-go” places: anywhere near garrulous (talkative) friends, electronic devices with access to the internet, and the cafeteria when you’re hungry. (<–I’ve found that when it comes down to it, I’ll often choose food over the books, much to my grades’ dismay.) Instead, try somewhere clean, calm, perhaps near a sparkling brook, and be sure you’re sitting in a comfortable spot, as you might be awfully uncomfortable by the time it’s all said and done.
Step 2: Give yourself plenty of time. One of the biggest mistakes most students make is not allowing themselves the proper amount of time needed to learn all the material. And by “most students,” I mean myself. A common misconception (made by me) is that I will have plenty of time later on to study for said test, and that I can wait to start the studying. DON’T WAIT TO START. It’s never too early. Okay, it can definitely be too early, but chances are it won’t be for you. So plan ahead and you’ll be set for life!
Step 3: Study what’s actually going to be on the test. This may sound like a no-brainer, but I guess that some people must literally have no brain as I have heard numerous stories like “ohhh…dude I spent like 3 hours studying the wrong chapter, so then like after I realized that I just basically gave up on the whole thing and failed the test.” And then I’m like “bummer, dude.“ Don’t be that person. Go to class. Know what’s going to be on the test. And if you’re reading something that you don’t recognize whatsoever (and you’re sure you were at least mostly conscious during classes), that’s probably a good indication that something else is amiss.
Step 4: Bring snacks! Fairly self explanatory. Food gives you that extra energy you need to stay awake and focused during those late night hours. It also tastes good.
Step 5: Give yourself breaks. Some do this more often than others, but it’s important not to get too consumed with your studies that your brain turns to mush. So instead, allow a little time in between sessions to stand up, take a walk, organize your closet, do a handstand, clean your kitchen, floss…whatever suits your fancy. I prefer to maintain a ratio of one 4 minute break for every 2.5 minutes of studying. Some may find that a bit too strenuous on the mind, however, so feel free to take my ratio simply as an example and adjust the minutes accordingly.
Step 6: And finally, get some sleep afterwards! Everyone loves sleep, so why not let it be a two-sided relationship and have sleep love you back? Sleep is proven to improve memory retention, our immune system, metabolism rates, and (unofficially) our grumpiness levels. So who wouldn’t want to be a memorable, healthy, trim, and ultra-happy individual ready to take on even the toughest of tests? Nobody, that’s who. So get some sleep!
Best of luck, all ye future test takers. May your studying be simply serene!
When it comes to things that are difficult to wrap our minds around, the universe and its astronomical size often sits at the forefront of most people’s “Mind-boggling” lists. With scientists estimating that there could be anywhere from 200 to 500 billion galaxies swirling around out in the far reaches of space, and with each galaxy holding anywhere from 10 million to 10 trillion stars, it makes for an awful lot of “Twinkle, Twinkle.” Sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming and disconcerting to think of such vast spaces and where exactly we fit into the big picture, but fortunately for all involved, I recently made an important discovery that might help us to better understand where exactly “here” is in the midst of this seemingly infinite space. I call it: The Center of the Universe. Its location: the exact center of the universe. First up, here’s a nice picture, courtesy of my good friend the Hubble Space Telescope, of what the universe looks like from deep space.
Now here is the same picture, but I took the liberty of zooming in a couple notches on that little speck of light smack dab in the center of the picture…and voila!
That’s right, folks. What you see before your eyes is the fruit of many hours of research, many minutes of laborious driving, and seconds upon seconds of walking up and down various streets, carefully dodging speeding cars and pedestrians alike, searching for the Holy Grail of astronomers everywhere. And this is where I ended up. Downtown Tulsa. In the middle of a doubly inscribed circle, probably placed there about the same time as the Mayans. It turns out that some interesting things happen when you stand in the exact center of the universe: your voice echoes and reverberates in strange ways, people look at you with an odd look in their eyes, and you feel a slight increase in your sense of importance. Your voice is magnified inside the circle, but to anyone standing outside, it sounds perfectly normal, if not even somewhat diminished. The bizarre thing is that there are no nearby surrounding buildings as you would expect to find with such a loud echo.
Why would I tell you all this? Why let out my secret discovery for all the world to see? Is it because I’m such a selfless individual who thinks of naught but the betterment of the world around me? Well…not exactly. I have a confession to make: I didn’t actually discover it. In fact, I didn’t even help to discover it. I just looked up the directions on GoogleMaps and drove straight there. I know, I’m disappointed with myself as well, but the good news is: just because I didn’t discover it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still the center of the universe! And it can be yours to experience should you ever choose to attend the University of Tulsa, or if you happen to find yourself anywhere near downtown Tulsa! So. Look it up and check it out if you haven’t already; it’s well worth it. But for now I’m off to redeem myself by making a truly unique discovery this time: the center of the University of Tulsa!
Seeing as how I’ve never written for the TU student bloggers (or really any blog) before—in fact I can’t recall ever writing anything longer than my brief (but extremely sincere and from-the-heart) “thank you” notes to relatives and relations after Christmas/my birthday—I figure it’d be best for all of us if I just took a short 30 seconds of your time and 20 minutes of my time to properly introduce myself. Like I already said, my name’s Aaron. (I figure it’s important enough to merit repeating.) I hail from Kansas City, Kansas (Lenexa, if you want to be specific), I love using parenthesis (love!), I’m a second semester freshmen, and I run cross country/track here for Tulsa. I particularly enjoy the taste of refrigerated chocolate milk, and I’ve played the piano for approximately 11 years and three months (plus or minus eight days). I generally enjoy reading and writing (yeah…that part about the thank you notes was a lie…sorry) and I have zero pets. I speak English proficiently (or at least I’d like to think so), Spanish un poco, and have about 23 other languages currently on my Wish List. In my spare time, I study Chemical Engineering at TU’s picturesque library. (Seriously, it’s very picturesque: I’d wager an estimate that 96% of all TU paraphernalia involving photos has the mammoth stone library somewhere within its boundaries.) When the library’s closed, which isn’t actually all that often, my dorm room is always kind enough to offer itself as a comfortable working space. Sometimes it’s a little bit too comfortable, however. I’d advise against the “Oh I’ll just lay down and read this book from my bed” approach. Studies have shown that it is historically not a very effective method of studying. My own personal studies have confirmed this. I think that’ll about do it for the introductions, and I think that’ll also about do it for this post. The semester has just started, and it already carries with it a whirlwind of promise. I’m looking forward to keeping you (pl.) updated as this year transpires!
P.S. While I’m getting started on this whole blogging thing a bit late (one semester to be exact), I figured you might want to know all about my first semester of college! But unfortunately, I don’t have the time, energy, motivation, and/or a large enough character limit to tell you all about those five-ish months. So instead, allow me to sum it all up in the form of some life advice for the average college student: speak softly, sing softlier (else people look at you weird), carry a big backpack, and love your dorm neighbors as yourself.