One cannot simply step into the academic battlefield without the proper equipment to fight against poor performance in your exam scores. You don’t need to purchase anything too fancy, either. There is no need for expensive and unnecessary materials that you think you will need but never use in the end. Buy what you like and what will help you survive successfully through this coming semester. Based on what I have purchased in the past, I am certain everyone knows I am a Captain America fan.
Here are my tips and tricks on how to survive through a potentially tedious college semester both on campus and in the comfort of our home.
What You Need On Campus
- Notebooks: Even if you believe you can strictly rely on your laptop for notes, you don’t have any issues with frozen screens and awkward moments of accidentally clicking on a video when you have the good old-fashioned pen and paper method. Whether it be a leather-bound notebook from your local bookstore or a childhood favourite character on a simple spiral notebook, use what will make you want to write your notes in.
- Reading Material: I cannot leave the house without bringing one of my favorite books with me. In case you need some reading material while waiting for class to begin or if you are in need of something to soothe your mind, have some reading material. What is your favorite book? I am a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
- Laptop: Most college classes will either ban laptops or allow it. Bring it, either way. Laptops are a blessing on and off campus. They are outstanding for note-taking, working on assignments in between classes, and for leisure during breaks. If your class ends early and have plenty of time before the next, check out your favorite sites. Better yet, watch some Netflix or Hulu (if you have it).
- Snacks: We need a nibble every now and then. If you don’t have enough time or energy to go all the way across campus to the cafeteria or Starbucks, be sure you have your favourite snacks in your bag. Pack your favourite little treats before you go in case you need to chew on something and save money. Pack one salty item (chips, pretzels, nuts, etc.) as well as a sweet item (granola bar, small candy bar, or fruit).
- Water: As cheesy and as common as this piece of advice is, stay hydrated. Even if you have had your coffee or tea, water is a key ingredient for a healthier body and a healthier mind. Keep a bottle or tumbler in your possession for refills through out your day. I suggest purchasing something that you really like and would want to use.
What You Need At Home
- Aromatherapy: While assignments can be stressful, make sure to calm yourself at home. Burn some candles rather than burning your brain out. Let the aroma of your favourite scents seep into your nostrils and let the soothing sensation calm you down before you dabble into your studies.
- Music: This can very with many different people. Music can either help you focus or it can be distracting. Give it a try and see where it takes you. Musical preference also varies. Whether it be classical music or heavy metal, find what works best for you. Give yourself a soundtrack while you write your papers or create a memorization technique with the songs you are listening to. When you walk into your class for midterms or finals, think of the songs you listened to that reminded you of your studying material.
- Breaks: Yes, you are allowed to sit back and take a deep breath before you continue your work. You can afford spurts of laziness. Treat yourself after a long day’s worth of hard work. You did an outstanding job.
- Study Space: If you don’t have a lot of time to head down to the library, bookstore, or coffee shop, you can study at home. I would recommend NOT sitting on your bed while working or studying. I say this because you would feel obligated or tempted to just lay down every five minutes with little to no progress. If you don’t have a desk, your bed can be your desk. Pull up a chair and use the edge of your bed as your desk.
I genuinely hope that these suggestions will be able to help you get through the semester. After four years of experience and trying out different ways to improve, these are all of the things I am currently trying.
Carry on, my wayward sisters.