The Calm before the Storm
Growing up on Guam, I remember having a TV channel that was solely dedicated to the satellite feed of weather patterns near our island. This warned us of any incoming storms and typhoons (Pacific hurricanes) in the area. Every time a typhoon was on the channel, my dad would prepare our house and supplies such as shutters, food, water, and gas for the generator. It was imperative that Dad got everything ready as early as possible. Why do I tell this story?
We just finished the first two months of school (Hooray!). As you read this sentence, take a moment to breathe in and breathe out. Wasn't that relaxing--All right--Back to work! Midterms are coming.
Normally, after a test, you get two types of students: the "Wow that wasn't bad" or the "Wow, that was bad." Whether you are one or the other type of students, here are some practical tips (storm supplies) to survive the typhoon of midterms:
- Study Now – seriously, the earlier the better. Stop wasting time and shove your face into your notes.
- Study Effectively – It's hard but your phone has to be put away for this one. Normally, studying for six hours straight deep fries your brain. Rather than study one subject for hours, study one subject for 50 minutes. Take a 5-minute break; then, study another subject for 50 minutes. This allows your brain to refresh and not exhaust itself. Put your subjects on a 50-minute rotation. It's about the quality not quantity of studying.
- Prioritize – put classes that have more credits first. Yes, the 2-credit class is important, but a 4-credit calculus class can make or break your GPA.
- Take a Break – as mentioned earlier, your brain gets tired. If you feel over-worked, take a quick break. Walk around, shoot some hoops, call home, chill with your friends. A stressed brain is a slow brain.
- Pray – I don’t mean it in tritely. I genuinely mean pray. All tests are worrisome. Don’t think you’re alone on this. You have a Heavenly Father whose prayer line is open 24/7--use it. Talk to Him; bring the test that is bothering you to Him. 1 Peter 5:7 says: “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.”
- (Optional) Study in Groups -- Sometimes, no matter how hard you study, you won't understand the topic. When those happen, why don't you get a conglomeration of friends who take that same class and put your minds together. After all, "A threefold chord is not easily broken" (Ecc. 4:12) Remeber your priorities, the group is for studying not socializing.
- Find the right study technique -- Everyone learns differently. Some learn by reading their book repeatedly; others learn by mountains of flash cards--find the right technique for you. The trick is to find the technique that best simulates taking a test. You'll never find the right technique if you don't look for it.
Happy studying out there! Study efficiently, review for tests, and get some sleep.0