Turn a study session into a party

Aprile Sumague

Photo Illustration by Caitlin McCarrick
Photo Illustration by Caitlin McCarrick

Study’ and ‘party’ are words that we do not normally use together, but the good news for us students is that there are new ways to avoid the stress of studying, and enjoy it instead.

We are a few weeks away from winter break, and I am sure everyone is planning their holiday vacations. But before we go back home to our parents’ house, or plan to ride the slopes at Mammoth, we have to overcome the most dreadful week of the semester – Finals Week.,A “finals studying party” is an effective way to beat the pressure of studying and avoid sleepless nights, bloodshot eyes and caffeine shakes. It is a fun way to meet with your classmates, share class notes and go over the semester’s course.

How do you organize a studying party?

  1. Gather your friends and classmates, but make sure you have the right crowd. Invite the friends and classmates who you think will be of great help in studying. Do not invite people just for the sake of it. You don’t want to mix the crowd – studying is your priority, not a gossip session.
  2. Find a place that has a laid-back and comfortable – but not boring – atmosphere. A white board or chalk board may come in handy so place one in the corner. Have a couple of extra notepads and pens for those who may forget to bring their own.
  3. Shy away from distractions. Ask your group to turn their cell phones off and have only one laptop or desktop available that can be used to search for information on the Internet. Music is an option, but do not play anything disturbing, like heavy metal or rap songs with provocative language. Instrumental or classical music is fine. A television set is a big distraction unless you use it to watch news and catch up on current events that you know will be questions on the finals.
  4. Make sure your group gets to eat. No one functions well with an empty stomach. Pizza is always a preferred dish, as well as sandwiches and chips. This is a party where that alcohol is strictly prohibited – that can wait after the finals.
  5. Don’t forget to take a breather. A 15- to 30-minute break is enough to rest your brain cells. Do not take long breaks, as it may distract you and your group.
  6. Do not cram. Have the study party at least a week before the finals, that way you will have time to get together again if needed.
  7. Share notes with your classmates that way you will be able to cover everything on a particular subject. Every subject needs attention but allot more time on the complicated ones, like math and science.

Here are a few tips to make the studying part enjoyable, yet productive:

• Play games like Pictionary. Draw images of cells and have your group guess what it is when reviewing for biology.
• Play a Scrabble-like game for vocabulary and spelling.
• Use or create your own Scantron sheet and use it for multiple-choice questions. It will make you feel like you are doing an actual test.
• Use flash cards. It is effective to memorize simple yet important information like names, dates and acronyms.
• Play teacher-student and pretend you are in a classroom. Do a recitation test, have people solve math problems on the chalk or white board.
• Don’t forget to give rewards to your group. Give a pocketbook, a set of ball point pens, or a gold star to whoever gets the answers correct, or who finishes the mock tests first. It will boost the energy and people will participate more when there are prizes.
Stick to these tips and you will find yourself saying, “I partied last night and aced my test!” Good luck.