Crunch Time Study Habits

By Brian Yauger

Jambar Contributor

With the end of the semester coming up and stress abounding, some students are scrambling to get the assignments and studying they need done in time for finals.

Becky Varian, director of the Center for Student Progress at Youngstown State University, works with students every day to help them plan for high stress scenarios like the last weeks of the semester.

“One thing we do at the CSP, and I recommend that all students do, is lay out what these final weeks look like,” Varian said. “Schedules tend to be bottom heavy. There’s a lot of projects, papers and tests coming up so lay it all out, don’t procrastinate.”

Some YSU students gave insight into how they study and prepare during these stressful times.

Rewriting notes is one way students retain information. Calley Stredney, a senior double major in anthropology and history and a double minor in Latin studies and Italian, rewrites the information taken in class as a way to keep her notes more organized.

“I try to rewrite my notes in new notebooks so I can condense things and try to review and tidy things up,” Stredney said. “I try to keep up on it, but I really only get to it about once or twice a semester. I highlight important concepts and make side notes in them for when I need them for papers or exams.”

Many students find that schoolwork impacts their sleep schedule. The demanding hours of school interfere with their ability to rest.

“One thing we see very commonly is a lack of sleep,” Varian said. “There’s a direct connection with sleep deprivation and the brain failing to function as it should, so get some sleep. That paper that you’re trying to write isn’t going to be good if you don’t get any sleep.”

Procrastination is a bad habit that interferes with students and their ability to get the proper amount of sleep.

“When it comes to tests or papers, I procrastinate, which stresses me to the point where I do lose sleep,” Breeann Larabee, a sophomore undecided major said. “I’m not a good test taker, so tests in general stress me out.”

Listening to music is a popular way for students to concentrate and relax while working. There are numerous videos on YouTube that are “study mixes” that help keep students focused on their work.

“I have a hard time concentrating as it is,” freshman business major Brooke Hellock said. “I like to go to Starbucks and work, but it’s always busy, so putting in my headphones and blasting music definitely helps me concentrate on my school work.”

While music is popular for some students, others prefer a quieter area.

“I like to study in quiet rooms by myself because I tend to get distracted,” Kassi Konopka, a freshman industrial engineering major said. “A lot of times I don’t get that luxury and I have to study when and wherever I can.”

Some students prefer to be in complete silence.

“When I’m at home, I normally stay in the living room,” Stredney said. “I absolutely cannot have any noise when I study.”

Some students never learned how to study. This is more common than some may expect.

“It’s not as uncommon as you think, especially for first year students,” Varian said. “Even students that came in with a super high GPA in high school, super high ACT scores, we find them floundering in their first year of college because they never learned how to study.”