Take A Study Break, Why Don’t You?!

By Dymond Hunley 

What are you doing? In college studying for tests or maybe even finals. Let me Guess?! You’ve been cramming information for the last several hours. Let me guess again… You’re tired and ready to crash. Well let me be the one to tell you that you should not study for several hours constantly without taking a break. Time management is your best friend and procrastination is your worst enemy. When I started as a freshman that was one of my biggest flaws and sometimes still is.

FRESHMEN FUN Every freshman in college wants to have the full college experience; to be active in all the festivities and to keep up their grades. You don’t want to miss a beat, do you? Want to attend anything and everything on campus right? Well you can do both, maintain your grade and be active on campus as long as you manage your time wisely. College students can have their cake and eat it too. It might be more fun, if you set up an award system: Study for about 2-3 hours, then you can watch your favorite TV show. It might sound corny but it might actually help!

TAKE A BREAK Studying for tests and exams can be mentally draining and stressful. Students spend hours rereading information, quizzing themselves, rewriting notes and skimming their textbooks to retain the information for tests and exams. Students feel the need to study non-stop to achieve high scores and avoid the fear of failure. Some “ace” their tests and others wonder why they fail. You ever wonder why you spent so much time studying, but when it is time to take the test your mind goes blank….

Researchers have found an overuse of directed attention leads to irritability, decreased concentration, and increased levels of stress and aggression.(1) The level of stress and irritability that comes when you studying raises when you are pressured for time. As a college student, there are multiple things that could be beneficial for students and decrease the pressure. From a researcher’s theory perspective, students would benefit from campus settings that provide effective restoration breaks and allow them to return to their work cognitively refreshed (2 ) . Based on this students would have a nice safe space to relax before hitting the books again.

PROCRASTINATION College students already have a lot of things on their plate such as school work, trying to be involved on campus, social life, and their personal life. Never wait until the last minute to do your work. Speaking from experience that is not always the smartest or best idea. Procrastination can get the best of you. You never know if you have other work due in other classes, something might come up, or your mind might explode. If you procrastinate to study you might not retain the information the same as you would if you started days or weeks ahead. Researchers did an experiment and their studies concluded that among 342 students, chose to procrastinate because of delayed study behavior, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and lack of assertion. (3) So don’t procrastinate but be ahead!

GET SOME SLEEP The most popular thing that people do when studying is staying up all night. Sleep Deprivation is seen in almost every college moment. Lack of sleep tends to be harmful than good. But if you manage your time better, that’s something you won’t have to do. You can spread your workload throughout the week so you won’t be stressed to get everything done in a one day. Procrastination is your worst enemy. And if you wait until the last second it may seem like you have a mountain of work. Engagement in single night of deprivation, also known as an all-nighter, was associated with later self-reported bedtimes, evening preference, and poorer academic achievement as measured by G.P.A. A trend for increased symptoms of depression was detected; sleep quality as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) was not related to engagement in pulling an all-nighter. (4) Sleep plays a very important role in studying. Getting a good night of sleep helps with your cognitive thinking. So a pulling an all-nighter to study can do more harm than good. I don’t know about you, but I like to get my sleep.

GET A STUDY SYSTEM Start mapping out your assignments. Get a planner and write out your work, your tests, and your finals. This should give you a good start to balance out your classes and assignments. Study for one assignment at a time and alternate. It is a good thing to start studying at least one to two weeks before your test. You can try little habit to help you study like maybe study with a partner, color code notes, make note cards, and/or read your required material. Having a set of skills and system you can bet you will have a better time studying. And when you have a better time studying it will reflect in your work. Researchers constructed studies that show students who have study motivation and study skills exhibit the strongest relationships with both grade point and grades in individual classes. (5)

NEVER GIVE UP This was just a little advice to help you ace those tests. I hope you can take these tips and not only use them for tests but in your classes as well. College can be very hard but if you use these tips, it will make it better. Just remember to take a deep breath and relax. Your four years will go by so fast. So drive the ball of knowledge down the court of college and score your education!!!

[1] Crede, Marcus, and Nathan Kuncel. “Study habits, skills, and attitudes: The third pillar supporting collegiate academic performance.” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 1 Nov. 2008, journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1745-6924.2008.00089.x

[2] Felsten, Gary. “Where to take a study break on the college campus: An attention restoration theory perspective.” NeuroImage, Academic Press, 10 Dec. 2008, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0272494408000996.

[3] Stack, Katherine, and John Shultis. “Implications of attention restoration theory for leisure planners and managers.” Taylor and Francis Online, 15 Mar. 2013, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14927713.2013.776747

[4] Thacher, P. V. (2008). University Students and the “All Nighter”: Correlates and Patterns of Students’ Engagement in a Single Night of Total Sleep Deprivation. Behavioral Sleep Medicine, 6(1), 16–31. https://doi.org/10.1080/15402000701796114

[5] Solomon, L. J. (1984). Academic procrastination: Frequency and cognitive-behavioral correlates. Retrieved November 28, 2018, from http://psycnet.apa.org/buy/1985-07993-001

2 Replies to “Take A Study Break, Why Don’t You?!”

  1. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to managing all 5+ classes at a time with a job or even trying to relax on the weekend. I agree with you that having a planner and planning certain times throughout the week to get work done so you don’t procrastinate is very helpful. I get more done when I schedule time for myself to work on things rather than doing it in between events. Stress is real and getting on top of it makes a world of difference. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great advice! I catch myself trying to stay ahead of the class load and limiting my social life. I have some work to do. Great read!

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