Study Hard. Study Smart.

kolbyKolby Ledbetter served as the Orientation Leader for undeclared students for the past three years. He is a senior from Marshall, TX and is majoring in English with a concentration in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. He is involved in LSU Ambassadors, Student Government, the STRIPES program, and is a former Supplemental Instructor for the Center for Academic Success. His favorite spot on campus is the first floor of Middleton Library, across from CCs.”


Hey tigers and tiger families!
Everyone’s ~favorite~ week in October is right around the corner. Midterms.
This is my seventh round of midterms coming up, so here are a few pieces of advice from a graduating senior on how to destroy those midterms like Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball.

#1: Start studying NOW.
Can you tell me the basic concepts that you covered in your classes during the first and second weeks of school? How about how those concepts connect to what you’re learning this week?
Every day, after every class, just that 15 minutes to debrief the information you learned. Reviewing it while it’s fresh on your mind will help you compartmentalize it and organize it better.

#2: Do not pull an all-nighter in Middleton.
I know the CCs is open until midnight, and that is truly wonderful. They have muffins. Believe me. I understand.
But putting your mind and body through the stress of an all-nighter, drinking huge amounts of coffee, and staying in one spot for hours is not going to get you anywhere. Not only is it bad for your body, it’s bad for your working memory, an apparatus in your brain that moderates between what is going on around and what information has already been stored in your mind.
Coming from a former (okay, current) procrastinator, start early and get sleep. Sleep is so important and beds are so comfy. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep before those tests. Your body, your mind, your sanity will all thank you later.

#3: Study in chunks and give yourself breaks.
I’m not suggesting that you study for 15 minutes and reward yourself with an episode of Parks and Rec. But keep in mind that your brain might work better in sprint-and-rest mode. Not marathon mode. Give yourself chunks of times that are for a break and find something constructive to do – walk around for a minute or text a family member that you love them.

Lastly – take advantage of the resources around you. If you look at something now and don’t understand it, visit the Center for Academic Success in Coates or Middleton, email your professor or TA, visit office hours, and go to SI sessions. These programs are put on campus to help you succeed. You pay for them, so take advantage of that fact!

Most importantly, remember that your value and worth is not defined by a number or letter that you get in a class. If this midterms week doesn’t go well for you, remember that there is always time to bounce back. Making mistakes is okay. Our brains are wired to work that way!

Good luck tigers!


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