MASTERING MONDAY: STUDY DRUGS
YouTube has grown exponentially in the past decade and now there are so many options when it comes to tutorials. If you type in “geometry tutor” for example, there will be countless videos to help you with your homework. If you need more guidance than that, one of my favorite educational YouTube channels is Khan Academy. This channel was developed so that students (and non-students) everywhere could have access to free education. This channel has step-by-step videos on things from studying for Civil War exam to Circuit Terminology (whatever that is). I owe my passing grade in BioStats to this YouTube channel, and I am eternally grateful.
In this article from the HuffPost College, study drugs are defined as: “prescription stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin that are used inappropriately to increase mental focus and productivity for the purpose of studying.” Also called “smart drugs,” they are usually only prescribed to children in order to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). When used without a prescription these drugs can be very dangerous (not to mention illegal). Despite the risks, about one in five college students report using these study drugs in order to get a quick boost of energy for those dreaded all-nighters. Others use them regularly to keep up with their various commitments and responsibilities. This article explains the risks of study drugs and the explanations behind why students use them as well as how easily accessible they are.
Do this: Spice Up Your Studying
- Chew some gum. Chew a specific flavor of gum while studying for a test and chew that same flavor of gum while taking the test. This will help log and recall certain memories and information. Try a gum that you usually do not chew. I.e. if you are a strictly mint person, try some tropical fruit gum.
- Read out loud. If you have an imaginary friend you are in luck! Reading out loud to someone (or something) as opposed to reading silently to yourself will help you retain much more information.
- Meditate. One quick meditation method is this coherence method:
- Heart Focus: Focus your attention in the area of your heart, in the center of your chest.
- Heart Breathing: As you focus on the area of your heart, imagine your breath flowing in and out through that area.
- Heart Feeling: As you continue to breathe through the area of your heart, recall a positive feeling, a time when you felt good inside, and try to re-experience it. It could be feeling appreciation for the good things in your life, or the love and care you feel for someone.
- Take a walk. Walking for 20 minutes before going into an exam will help boost your memory. If your test is in Lanigan, just do a quick lap or two around the building (just try not to get lost).
- Make a story. Name your chemistry formulas and have them get married and have babies! Or if you want to be less traditional, create a romance story out of Lewis and Clark!
- The Pomodoro Technique. You can thank a cool dude named Francesco Cirillo for this one! Study for 25 minutes and then take a 3 minute break! After 4 of those study-break cycles, take a longer break (about 7 minutes).
- Eat gummy bears. You’ve probably heard the old advice: eat dark chocolate, drink green tea, eat raw fish, etc. Well some people probably find some of that stuff just plain nasty. Pick your favorite, bite size treat and place them at different areas on the page of your textbook, a review sheet, or your homework. Eat each treat when you get to that spot of the sheet. It is an awesome way to motivate you while studying!
- Google “site:edu [subject] exam. You will probably be able to find an exam that corresponds with the one that you are about to take. This is a good way to find review questions written by a bunch of different professors.
- Cold Turkey. No, do not eat cold turkey (the tryptophan will make you sleepy). Cold Turkey is a program you can download on your computer that blocks out distracting websites like Facebook, email, and CollegeHumor.
Written And Researched By Sarah Pasquarelli, Peer Educator
Photo Cred: studying