New year, new you! Make 2018 be the year where you achieve your academic goals without the needless stress! Here are a few tips on how you can prepare for the new quarter in a healthy and productive way:

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Studying 101

  • Use a planner! Whether it’s a notebook or an app on your phone, using planners will definitely improve your study habits. Personally, I use a notebook planner to help organize what I need to do on a daily basis. By planning ahead, you are able to manage the time you need to spend on studying.
    • Fun fact: The human brain craves completed tasks so when you cross something off of your to-do list, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine that is responsible for making you feel good and motivated!

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  • Know what works for you. Some people prefer to study at night rather than the daytime and some prefer music over silence.
  • Organize your study space. Although it is very tempting to open Snapchats and watch funny dog videos, it is crucial to put any distractions, such as your phone, out of sight.
  • Have a drink and snack handy so that you can focus on studying. Use the snack as an incentive! For example, for every chapter that you read, you can eat 3 Skittles.
  • Take breaks! We’re only human so studying for 3 hours straight can definitely lead to some negative side effects. Take a breather, get another cup of coffee, or go for a walk and come back with a refreshed mind.
  • Use handy study materials such as study guides, textbooks, notes, and online resources. Class study guides will be your best bet of what to expect on your final.
  • For those of you who are visual learners, here’s a video by Doctor Mike that sums up how to study for exams: HOW TO STUDY EFFECTIVELY: SIMPLE EXAM TIPS | Doctor Mike​

Ask for Help

  • There are many resources on campus that are there for you!
    • Quantitative Skills Center (QSC) located in UW2 – 030
      • The Quantitative Skills Center is where you can get drop-in tutoring for your STEM and business classes like CSS, chemistry, biology, math, and other subjects. Not only will they tutor you, they will also help you with test anxiety! One thing that has been helpful to me is getting CSS help.
    • Writing and Communication Center (WaCC) located in UW2 – 124
      • The Writing and Communication Center is there to help you with your papers, personal statements, resumes, and how to improve your writing skills.
    • Your professor’s office hours
      • Professors have office hours for students to ask questions and get clarification so don’t hesitate to visit them!

Helpful Free Apps/Websites

  •  Any.do
    • Like I mentioned above, a planner is crucial when you are juggling 3 or more classes at the same time. For those of you who are more techie, Any.do is an app where you can make to-do lists, add events to your calendar, and many more!
  • Quizlet
    • Quizlet is an app and website that allows you to make flashcards to help memorize information. What is great about Quizlet is that they also create fun games that will also help you memorize information. In the past, Quizlet has helped me remember trigonometry identities and math formulas.
  • RefMe
    • For those of you who have to write research papers like me, RefMe is a time-saving app that creates citations for you! The app uses your camera to scan the barcode of a book and it will create the citation in MLA, APA, or any other format.
  • StayFocused
    • Have you ever told yourself you will be productive, but as soon as you open your laptop you find yourself on social media two hours later? I’m guilty of that. Luckily, StayFocused is a free Google Chrome extension that will limit how long you are allowed to spend on certain websites for the day. For example, you can set a time limit of 1 hour spent on Facebook before StayFocused blocks the website. This is extremely useful for those who are in a time crunch.

How to Deal with Stress

  • Time management is the best way to prevent school related stress. Allowing yourself ample time to study will boost your confidence and prepare you for the unexpected. By doing this, you are eliminating last minute stress unlike this cat who is trying to meet a deadline.
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  • Get enough sleep. For college students, getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep seems so unreal.  When you don’t sleep, your performance exponentially declines so manage your time and sleep at a decent hour.
  • Physical activity helps keep your body mentally and physically healthy. When you workout, your brain releases “feel good” chemicals like dopamine, which will improve your mood. For UWB and CC students, you can use the Fitness Center located in the ARC for free! More info on the Fitness Center here.
  • Eat a balanced diet. If you’re anything like me, I tend to eat my feelings in the most unhealthiest way possible. I’m talking about tubs on tubs of ice cream. When you eat junk food, it makes you feel sluggish and unmotivated. Instead, try healthy alternatives like yogurt for ice cream or popcorn for chips.
  • Here’s a video by AsapSCIENCE explaining more ways to relieve stress: 7 Simple Tips To Reduce Your STRESS Right Now
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