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From One Student to Another — Tips on Studying for Finals

Grace Myers / Photos by Angela Rogalski
Grace Myers is a senior anthropology major who believes caffeine and alone time are the keys to studying well. / Photos by Angela Rogalski

Finals week is here and stress levels are high as students begin the ritual of studying for those all-important tests before the actual day arrives. But what is the best way to study – by yourself, with a friend, in the library or somewhere enjoying a cappuccino? And how do you prepare your body and your own psyche for the long hours ahead, poring over notes, websites and tomes of knowledge?
Most students have their own ideas about what they need to do to equip their brains to absorb the knowledge they need to ace those exams. Study tips abound and reverberate across campus grounds and all around the city of Oxford as advice and collective encouragement is the name of the game this week in the world of academics.
Here are some of those helpful hints from the people who have mastered them:
Hal Sullivan
Hal Sullivan is taking advantage of Cups’ 24-hour days during finals week.

“My personal advice is don’t let yourself be too comfortable,” said Hal Sullivan, a double-major in English and Southern Studies. “If you’re in a chair or in a place where you can’t sink into the couch and get super-comfortable, then you’re more likely to stay focused on your work.”
Grace Myers is a senior anthropology major and her advice was somewhat more “stimulating” — “Drink a lot of coffee. And know when to study with friends and when not to, because sometimes when you study with friends you end up talking more about your social life that you do actually studying. So, just study by yourself; that’s what I like to do.”
Robert Briggs, an English Lit major and grad student, believes in starting early.
“Particularly when writing a paper. Just start writing and don’t try to gather all the information right away. Get your ideas down on paper and then supplement that with sources,” Briggs said. “The earlier you start, the better, because the writing process is important. You need to have the time to revise, edit and draft.”
Rachel Unkefer would agree with Briggs and Myers, “I start studying the week before and I don’t study with friends. I think it’s good to be by yourself. And you need to get plenty of sleep the night before and wake up early, because I think if you sleep in you’re wasting part of the day. I know a lot of people who pull all-nighters and then the next day they’re groggy and their minds aren’t as quick. ”
“I definitely recommend getting a lot of rest,” Allison Assel, a friend of Unkefer’s, said, “and going to instructors for help before exams if you need to.”
Paris Scruggs goes over some notes with a friend at High Point Coffee on the Square.

Mackenzie Breeland said don’t procrastinate. “Don’t put off studying, whatever you do. All of my finals are at the end of the week, so the first three days of the week; I have to be sure and prioritize correctly, because I have no time between finals.”
Paris Scruggs recommends studying first thing in the morning. “Right after breakfast your brain is functioning at a better level. And I believe it helps to have a study partner.”
“Start early, don’t procrastinate,” said Katie Lovett. “Write down all your notes and always get a good night’s sleep the night before your finals.”
Mary Elizabeth Moore agreed. “Get a good night’s sleep and don’t put off anything, especially group projects.”
Terrence Brown and Sarah Wegmann study in Farley Hall.

“Start early, stay up late if you need to,” said Terrence Brown, “and always make sure you know everything. Oh, and stay off of Ole Miss Snaps.”
“Get plenty of sleep before you lose your mind,” said Sarah Wegmann. “And stay hydrated and keep pushing forward.”
Rachel Duda studies daily. “You have to study a little every day, so that you’re not cramming in everything at the last minute. I started studying last week.”
“I like to study in a group, so in case I don’t know something, someone else can help me figure it out,” said Dallas native, Trevor Anderson.
Lexi Worth
Lexi Worth believes in her system for studying.

Lexi Worth believes in the color yellow, “I write all my notes on yellow paper, because it’s a proven statistic it helps you remember. And I write the question on the left-hand side and the answer on the right-hand side of the paper when I study.”
The consensus is in and the results are: study early and get plenty of rest. But whatever you decide to do, STUDY!
Good luck to all our students with finals. Hotty Toddy!
Angela Rogalski is a HottyToddy.com staff reporter and can be reached at angela.rogalski@hottytoddy.com.

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