As the clock ticks away, you are desperately trying to soak up as much information in a short amount of time before your test the next day. You grow more and more tired, but decide against sleep. The anxiety increases as you run out of time and energy, but you tell yourself you must keep going. For many freshmen, all-nighters are a regular part of study habits, but do they necessarily have to be?
Based on my own experiences, as well as those from a few other students, I have found that studying ahead of time will not only help one retain the information better, but will also spare one the exhaustion and stress that accompanies pulling regular all-nighters. A recent questionnaire I distributed to my fellow freshmen revealed that two out of every three student agrees that studying ahead of time and keeping up with all your work is the way to go, but do we always practice what we preach?
I inquired about some distractions that students had when it came to studying. Television, parties, and having friends living next door were obvious, but one other response made me think twice: the weather. Apparently, living in an environment where the sun is shining on most days is not the ideal setting for good study habits.
“When it is nice out I’m inclined to go to the pool and take a text book or my notes with me, but i don’t look at them as much,” freshman Rachel Kliger said.
Anyone that has passed by the IM fields in front of Stanford knows that she is definitely not alone. You can catch plenty of people basking in the sun, “studying,” on a regular basis.
My biggest question to freshmen was whether or not they needed to change their study habits from what they used to be in high school. After all, that was my biggest adjustment in college (it’s still a work in progress, actually). Almost everyone I asked said that they had to alter their methods at least a little. In fact, many, like myself, learned the hard way that high school and college were very different in doling out work.
You get out of class early in the day thinking that you have all the time in the world to get assignments done, but then painfully discover that some assignments just cannot be completed last minute. In my opinion, the sooner we realize that it takes work and effort to stay ahead the game, the better. Freshman Eva Reynoso puts it beautifully, “If you’re not ahead, you’re a behind.”
So, my fellow freshmen, a word from the wise: study and stay focused. Whatever works best for you, keep at it. Just remember that your work is serious and should in no way be underestimated. Good luck, and have a happy rest of the semester!
Niloufar Abae is a freshman who is undeclared. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.