Lessons Learned

I’m pretty sure I’ve started off every blog post with a statement about how fast time has gone by. I can’t help it! It’s just unbelievable. December? Already? No. Way. Final exams are dangerously close and I’m almost 100% positive my professors conspired against me this past week. I had 4 exams in one week, and a paper due the next week. Needless to say, my break will be spent stuffing my face with turkey and promptly falling asleep in my grandma’s Lazy-Boy after.

With everything piled up, I realized that the week could have gone a lot smoother had I not procrastinated so much. I knew the dates of my exams; I knew when my paper was due. I had plenty of time to prepare myself and not lose hours of sleep. I know, I know, you hear this all the time. Manage your time, keep organized. But easier said than done.

While I know everyone is a little different, I thought I’d offer some of my tips on how to avoid the Procrastination Nation when things get busy.

  1. Stay off of social media. I find Facebook and Twitter so much more interesting when I have to study. It’s super difficult, but try to keep your phone in a drawer or something when you’re in your room studying. I’ve found that deleting the apps off of my phone did wonders. I can still check online when I want to, but the temptation decreases significantly!
  2. If you are like me, then you do like some background noise when you study. Spotify is a great resource. You can pick the tracks you want to play, but they also have pre-made playlists for any occasion. One of my favorites is called Intense Focus. Some of my favorite study music is classical music or the scores from Lord of the Rings. Both offer some background noise but don’t have lyrics to distract you.
  3. Take breaks. Sometimes six straight hours of studying can do more harm than good. The information tends to get jumbled up; you get confused and frustrated, and doubt yourself.
  4. Keep a planner of some kind. Whether it’s a Purdue mortar board or sticky notes all over your desk, something. I don’t remember things if I don’t write them down. There have been a couple of close calls when I forgot a homework assignment was due at midnight.
  5. Find a place where you KNOW you’ll study. I love Purdue Memorial Union; the Humanities, Social Sciences and Education Library (or HSSE); and Starbucks. I tend to go to places near caffeine… Coffee addict, here! But it’s important to find a place where you will be able to concentrate and have all resources you need.

Those are some of my biggest tips. And, remember procrastination happens to the best of us. So just be prepared, and stay positive, it all works out.

— Ally Ylo, Sophomore, Financial Counseling and Planning

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