Tag Archives: Studying

Procrastination Nation

 

-Marissa Tomko

I bet you’re doing it right now. Yeah, you. I bet you’ve been up all night with an assignment you’ve been dangerously close to finishing for hours. You could have gone to bed at midnight, but instead you watched a bunch of YouTube videos and Snapchatted your friends pictures of your coffee at 3 a.m. with the caption “I HATE MY LIFE!!!!” Now, the sun is starting to peek over the horizon, and you’ve found yourself here. You have two pages left on that research paper, and yet you’re catching up on your email, current affairs, and of course, The Pulse.

Ah, procrastination. A delay by any other name would leave an assignment just as incomplete! Okay, enough with the jokes. Procrastination is real life. I’ve been doing it since I can remember; I can never bring myself to do something until I absolutely have to get it done. As far as the end results go, I’ve never had a serious problem—I get good grades, my expired driver’s license was never an issue, and I am perfectly content eating Saltine PB&J’s when I should have gone grocery shopping two weeks before.

Psychology Today distinguishes three types of procrastinators: the arousal types who procrastinate for the exhilaration, the avoiders who fear failure (or even success) because they care about other people’s opinions of their work, and decisional procrastinators who can’t make decisions and consequently attempt to acquit themselves of responsibility by simply not deciding. All procrastinators make excuses, with the most noted being “I work better under pressure.” In an article for the BBC, Rowan Pelling discredits this excuse, citing research that suggests procrastinators both complicate and shorten their lives.

“Procrastinators are less wealthy, less healthy and less happy than those who don’t delay,” she writes.

I have never considered my procrastination as being anything more than an annoying quirk. It was not until recently that I realized my habit has lessened the quality of my life and the opinions that people have of me. Last week, I was called out by one of my best friends for using the excuse of “I’m just spacey and put off studying” one too many times. I had to back out of plans to study for a test that I had been avoiding the reality of up until the penultimate day. My friend’s outburst at me got me thinking: I can never hang out with friends during the week because I am too busy scrambling to get things done for the next day. I don’t remember the last time I was able to make a big spontaneous commitment, like hiking Spencer’s Butte or taking a last minute coast trip. Procrastination makes me feel especially crazed—my relationships have suffered, and I feel a constant guilt because of it.

My friend made me realize that I have two choices: I can join Procrastinators Anonymous, or I can remember what it’s like to feel carefree and have the respect of my friends. Because of his wake-up call, I can already feel a brighter school term ahead!

Image by Rennett Stowe.

Fighting Senioritis

-Casey Klekas

As my college experience nears its end, I’ve come down with a bad case of senioritis. This ailment has caused my creative faculties to dry up at a time when I need them more than ever. I feel like it’s the fourth quarter and I don’t have the energy to finish strong. I’ve found a few ways to combat this condition so as to relight my imagination before it burns out completely.

The best defense against senioritis, I think, is to take time to read for pleasure. I always carry a book with me–one that isn’t on a syllabus–just in case I have a free moment when I need to recharge rather than zone out. This goes double for writers. Being a good reader is essential for being a good writer. I find that when I’ve spent the whole day buried in unabsorbing texts with big words that have little relevance to my daily routine, it’s hard to make the transition to writing well.

I know that whenever I’ve been reading a lot of a particular author, I tend to write much like his or her style. Sometimes I do this deliberately. For example, when I need to write a short essay, I warm up by reading George Orwell. When I feel my writing style has become dull or flat, I’ll flip through a random passage of Nabokov to refresh my love of the English language. I’ve heard several of my favorite authors, including Hunter S. Thompson, say that they learned to write by copying whole texts from the writers they most admired (in his case, it was Fitzgerald and Mailer). If this seems excessive, then just read them carefully.

When reading, if you’re not buzzing with caffeine shakes, you should be sitting straight in a not-too-comfortable chair, in a well-lit, quiet room. I don’t think the same needs to be said for writing because sometimes it’s easier for me to write if there is a white noise overlaid with music in the background.

Whatever the case for reading and writing, the best antidote to senioritis is to recharge your imagination. Boredom is a very serious disease. It stifles creativity and it must be overcome if one wants to create anything interesting. So, now that finals week has come and gone, don’t spend your very short periods of free time zoning out on YouTube or Netflix. Pick up a good book, and keep your creativity candle lit and your imaginative skills burning.

Flux Photo Essay: Where To Study

Welcome to finals week! We at the The Pulse are good at many things, and studying is one of them. But you can’t get a good study session going without a good place to settle down. Below you’ll find our favorite places to study on and around campus. Good luck on your tests!

 

-Marissa

My favorite place to study is the Architecture & Allied Arts Library in Lawrence Hall. I like it because it is one of the quietest spots on campus, and hardly anybody knows about it. Lawrence has a great energy, and the students that hang around there are such hard workers.

 

-Aubrey

When studying, I need to get out of the house, away from distractions like the TV or fridge. I like going to the Knight Library, but it can be chaotic at times with heavy foot traffic. I like to head to the fourth floor and find a desolate corner where I can settle in and focus on studying.

 

-Jamie

I love studying at Starbucks because there’s the perfect amount of background noise and people that it’s not uncomfortably lonely. It’s a great place to get term papers done and enjoy a pumpkin spice latte.

 

-Emily

When it comes to finding places to do a bit of studying in-between classes, I like to find a good place to sit in Lillis. There are many options, but I especially love sitting right outside the cafe located on the first floor. There, I can grab a coffee, turn on my iPod, and focus on work for a bit while people walk through the building on their way to their next destination.

-Whitney

Espresso Roma is my favorite place to study near campus because it’s well lit and always full of other UO students studying. On a grey raining day, it’s a great cozy spot to get work done.

 

How to Study for Finals like a Boss

-Sam Bouchat

It’s almost finals week. Are you ready? No? Well, join the club. And enjoy some of my personal steps to ensuring an efficient and effective study session.

Midterms mean everything

Odds are that your midterm will look a lot like your final. Get a hold of that old scantron and study it! What did you get wrong? Why? Figure it out, because professors love to reuse questions. Additionally, most professors will let you see the midterm test if you go into office hours.

Flash cards, flash cards, FLASH CARDS!

Everything from foreign language to chemistry can benefit from the usage of flashcards. Na is (flip it over) SALT! 骨means (flip it over) BONE! Good job. Creating and then using flashcards is a fantastic way to memorize things. Also, a stack of index cards are a lot less daunting than a stack of textbooks.

If you can avoid cramming, do so

Cramming is wasteful—you’re studying to remember information for a single test, and then will inevitably forget it. That’s not fun! I, for one, want to remember how and why human activities are affecting fluvial systems. You shouldn’t be in class to pass; you should be there to learn. And remembering this stuff now will save you valuable time in the future!

Time Management

Be aware of your priorities. Sure, my geology final is on Tuesday while my Japanese final is on Wednesday, but I also know that my geology final won’t have kanji on it. Label each test with a priority level, and study accordingly. It will save you time, energy, and will help you mentally organize the upcoming nightmare of a week.

Make Blackboard your new best friend

If you’re lucky, your professor put some class materials online. Anything from PowerPoint lectures to the keys to the homework assignments is now a vast field of knowledge. Get to know that stuff. If your professor thought it was important enough to put into immortal online form, odds are it’s also important to know.

Once a textbook, now a canvas

Those textbooks are yours. You bought them for inflated prices and, no matter what you do or how fantastic the condition is, you will only ever sell it back as used. So use it. Mark the corners, doodle notes, put stickers on pages, stuff it with color-coded Post It notes. Highlight passages, underline captions, and draw creative crayon graphs in the margins. Even if you never open it to that page again, marking a passage or phrase will help you remember it infinitely times better than simply reading it.

Follow Sam at @sambouchat