Sarah Bonthuis


As a senior, I have developed some sure-fire studying tips and techniques. In the spirit of exam week, I thought I'd share them with you. 

Tip #1: Setting.

Find an environment conducive to your studying needs. For some people, the quietness of a library is the perfect spot for focusing and studying, whereas for others, it is the perfect place to nap. Be creative! The world is full of corners just waiting to be inhabited by studious students; it is up to you to locate and claim these places.

Personal Recommendations: I find that I do some of my best work in a coffee shop. I love the steady hum of activity buzzing around me, but I know that some of my friends are driven to insanity by it. The only way to figure this out? Trial and error, folks. Trial and error. 

Tip #2: Music.

This is paramount. Find a good Pandora station, and let the sweet tunes relax your mind. Listening to music helps to drown out the rest of the world and get in the zone. And when studying for finals, "the zone" is exactly where you need to be.

Personal Recommendations: Bon Iver, Florence and the Machine, Ben Rector, Helen Jane Long.

Tip #3: Hydration.

I can't emphasis this enough: correct hydration is key. Trust me when I say that the world will seem a much friendlier place if you drink caffeine. The time post-exams is a time to reset your body and get enough rest; the time pre-exams is a time to thank Jesus for coffee and single-handedly try to support your local Starbucks. 

Personal Recommendations: I am (admittedly) a bit of a diva when it comes to coffee. If I'm at home or at the library, I just drink straight-up black coffee--no messin' around. But when I go to Starbucks, my standard order is a Grande Iced Zebra Mocha with Skim Milk, an extra shot of espresso, and (of course) whip cream. Don't knock it till you try it, folks. 

                Tip #4: Fuel Up.

Always strive to get enough fruits and veggies. But also, don't doubt that mood-enhancing effects of chocolate and/or an abundance of other junk food. Remember, you are in survival mode. Do what it takes to stay motivated. Trust me, I'm not above using candy as a personal motivator. 

Personal Recommendations: Goldfish, Junior Mints, Double Stuf Oreos, Chocolate

Tip #5: Relax. 

Exams will be over soon enough, and when they are, life can return to a normal state. For a few days, embrace the craziness: the 3am laughing fits with your roommate that verge on tears, the completely unbalanced diet of dining hall cookies and coffee, the spontaneous comradery you feel with your classmates. Keep Calm and Carry On, my friends. 

So much love,