While there are typical study tips that apply to most people -- find somewhere quiet, drink tons of coffee, make note cards -- what we tend to forget is that not everyone learns the same way. Finals are coming up, and since I'm graduating I've been thinking about all the ways I've heard other people studying and wondering, why don't I try that? Here are some study tips I've gathered over the years that may be a little unorthodox.
For a lot of people, being in quiet areas like a library is helpful for studying. But for others? Not so much. It's hard to get in the groove when every little noise brings you back out of it. Soon, that girl who has the cough has become your worst enemy. Instead of being in a "quiet" place with constant interruptions, some people turn up the noise when they sit down to study.
Head over to Ozo on Pearl. Typically filled with startup types excitedly talking about their newest projects, Ozo is easily one of Boulder's loudest coffee shops. The energy there is sure to get you buzzing (and some of their specially-roasted coffee couldn't hurt) so you can hone in on your notes in style.
As some of you know, trivia is one of my favorite things pretty much ever. What are exams besides super specific trivia questions on which your entire future depends? No pressure, right? But really -- making studying into a game can actually help improve your memory and is way more fun than getting distracted while trying to make eyes at the hot guy across the table from you at Norlin. (Although maybe he's down for a different type of game...)
Gather some classmates or round up your friend's brother's freshman buddies and play a few rounds of study Jeopardy. Tons of websites out there let you create your own Jeopardy games and if you make prizes for yourself, you'll have even more incentive to kick some ass.
When I was in the eighth grade, I had to memorize the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, and the only way I was able to make that happen was to write a horrifically tone-deaf tune and sing along to it in my head. While my mom may have cringed every time she was helping me recite it, I still remember it to this day -- melody and all.
For a lot of people, music helps with memorization (raise your hand if you still remember the Greek alphabet song, or the "Fifty Nifty United States"). Making up a tune about your exam or putting words to one you already know can help you as you sit in Chem 140 at 7 on a Saturday morning wanting to die.
Not all study methods work for everyone, but if you're struggling to study the "traditional" way these tips may help you out. Let's rock those finals, Buffs!
Jessica Ryan is a senior media studies major at CU. She writes about nerdy things once a week for the Colorado Daily. On Twitter: @JessicaLRyan