advice and wisdom

how to study

dear silly girl,

i have a system for studying that i thought i’d share with you so that you won’t become the blonde girl who sits beside me in class.

she asks me the same question before every exam:

how do you study for a test?

it always mystifies me. so i wanted to just give you some tips.

now, my system involves alcohol so this only applies to you once it’s legal for you to drink. or just substitute your drink of choice for my wine.

first and foremost, i have to be alone. i cannot be around anyone else because it’s distracting and too tempting for me to talk. if someone says something, i will stop what i’m doing and look at whoever it is, so no people.

since i am not single and childless, this involves me sending you and daddy somewhere to play or quietly sneaking out of the house to go sit on the porch swing. sometimes that last one works and sometimes it doesn’t. the best place for me to be is in my bedroom by myself.

secondly, i listen to music without words. instrumentals, classical music, soundtracks, etc. sometimes i’ll listen to coldplay because they’re relaxing and i can still kind of tune them out, but it’s best if there are no words. i have a soundtrack station on pandora or i switch on the longest version of moonlight sonata by beethoven i can find. i’ve even played around with alpha waves and isochronic tones on youtube, but the key is no words.

third, if i start getting sleepy, i take my flashcards, book, or whatever with me, and i hop on the treadmill. i retain the most when i do this and it helps with the stress.

fourth, i give myself reward breaks. now a reward to me is reading something i want to read for 30 minutes. so if i’m really struggling to get finished, i reward myself with 30 minutes of reading after i get through my notes or a power point. just make sure that you stick with your limit. only 30 minutes.

fifth, i circle all of the things i need to do on my agenda so that i can put a check through each each item and use that as encouragement that i’m making progress. it also draws attention to what things i haven’t completed so that i don’t miss anything. and just a note: knock out the stuff you can do really quickly first. then you can concentrate on what matters.

lastly, after i’m finished studying, i take the hottest shower i can stand and reward myself with a glass of wine before i go to bed. just one glass. you could reward yourself with chocolate or something that you really, really like in place of wine.

these are the things i do to make the grades i make. it works for me.

now currently, you’re 3 years old and covered in cotton candy-flavored popsicle. you definitely do not care about studying. but one day, you may need some help, and i may have completely forgotten what i did to get through college.

so in the mean time, enjoy each day, sweet girl.

and when you’re in school and you call me crying out of sheer frustration at the workload, i will totally be able to agree with you- it does suck.

but it will be worth it.

love forever,

mama

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