When it comes down to it, writing your semester paper or starting your major project the night before it’s due isn’t all that sweet. Neither is failing that huge test because you don’t really know how to study. All in all, being a college or high school student is pretty hard as it is, but to add Advanced Placement or Preparatory Advanced Placement courses is just terrifying.
Some people may be perfect scholars, but, for the bulk of us who never really had to study much as kids, it can be difficult to learn these habits later in life. Just like learning to live a healthy lifestyle, studying is developed through practice and anticipating the long-term pleasure we will receive from it.
Several suggestions and methods have popped up, each guaranteeing the solution but one in particular is called the “Nothing Alternative.” What it entails is giving yourself two choices, do what you’re supposed to or do absolutely nothing at all. Don’t allow yourself to go do other chores, surf the web or daydream. Sit there and do nothing or accomplish what you’re avoiding.
“I study in a quiet place where I won’t be interrupted, preferably a library,” shares Frida Ballard, a 9th grader. “In those libraries I stay away from computers and don’t take my cell phone, so I can’t be interrupted. I also keep track of what I need with my planner, and I check it frequently.”
Myth: Making an Effort is Worthless
The best way to keep up with your advanced or even regular classes is to make an effort. An open mind and an open heart can sometimes be the most helpful tools to a relatively painless year. Studying and reading the material isn’t always the easiest or pleasant thing to do, but, often enough, it paves the way in the end.
Fighting the Study Traps
Study traps are useful in most cases, unless you’re on the other end of it. Study traps are some of the worst situations to encounter; for instance, not knowing where to begin, saying there’s so much material, material is too boring and never remembering any of the information are some examples that can lead to a downward spiral of anxiety. Information isn’t retained if it’s learned in a cram session at midnight. Try to space out the sessions and, overall, avoid things that’ll wear down your memory.
“My advice is to do the work, first of all, and just try it,” Ballard said.”This ain’t no completion grade, kiddos. Those days are over. Actually complete it by yourself and turn it on time. By now you should know what environments suit you best, so, go there; and however difficult it may be, do not procrastinate at all cost.”
Starting can sometimes be the hardest part, but a good way to keep sane is to write down a list of everything that must be accomplished. Just by seeing what you’ve done and what you have left to do will motivate you. Start with the courses you don’t understand as much, that way the most fun and easiest items are at the end. No matter the workload, find something that motivates and keeps you on task
“Honestly, I don’t always stay on task,” freshman Marisa Macias said. “I sometimes find myself getting distracted, but I do my best to stay focused. I just try to rid my surroundings of distractions. And, even though most teachers don’t believe it, music keeps me motivated and focused while working.”
Instead of procrastinating, why not just finish your homework? Go on now, close this window and turn off the computer. Your homework is calling your name and it is rather loud.