Study tips to stay stress-free


photo by Jim Legner

Students studying at Naz’s tutoring center

Nikolette Weiss and Layden Almer

With finals coming up and students’ workloads increasing, it is essential to make the most of studying time. Creating a productive and calm environment can impact the way students learn: the snacks, music and the space itself all play a role in making the most of precious study time.

Sophomore Jane McNamara has many strategies to stay on top of her work and make the most of her studying time. McNamara likes to listen to instrumental music when studying, but she doesn’t like to listen to songs that are really loud or upbeat.

McNamara always writes down her homework in the planner given to her by Naz to keep track of it, and she tries to get it done as soon as she can. She thinks that using Quizlet is a great resource for studying, too. 

McNamara’s routine for staying focused is simple. She said, “I go into a room where I am alone and I like to play music.” McNamara also likes to eat snacks like popcorn or apples, and likes to drink water while she is studying. She makes sure to take breaks, but only between subjects so she does not get too distracted. 

Sophomore Bianca Perez likes to take advantage of the block schedule, so she can take an extra day to get her homework done. She also emails her teachers if she has any questions. 

Senior Lorraine Healy finds it is very important for her to stay organized. For example she makes checklists, flash cards and uses her planner. She loves to eat clementines before she starts her work in order to feel energized. Healy gets stressed and overwhelmed easily, so she likes to make study plans before big assignments and tests are due to keep herself less stressed and on track.

Sophomore June Foley finds it helpful to go into a quiet place while she is studying. She also likes to put in earbuds to listen to music to help her focus better. Similarly, Academic Counselor Jim Legner thinks having some music on while studying can be beneficial, as long as it won’t cause a distraction.

Legner offers some additional words of advice to help students with their studying. He says the biggest thing is giving yourself enough time to prepare in advance for tests to eliminate last minute stress and pressure. 

Legner also thinks students should try to find a less distracting workspace to study in, like the library or even a coffee shop like Starbucks. Avoid studying in bed or anywhere that can be distracting. Legner said, “Put the phone away and find a quiet place to study.” 

If students want to study at home, Legner said to clear off a desk and make sure there is good lighting. The University of Indianapolis researchers agree. They say creating a dedicated study space at home will help students stay focused while studying. It is beneficial to set a boundary between a study space and a relaxation space to help get into the right headspace. 

Legner suggests using the tutoring center which is a peaceful place at Naz that welcomes students that are looking for a place that offers help in all subjects, and is available every day after and during school. He said that studying has a huge impact on how students do on exams, so they should always study and try to be as prepared as possible.

With weeks to go before finals begin, students still have enough time to get organized and to get a study plan in place now to avoid last minute stress and cramming.