The new year and a new semester have begun, and many college students are looking for new ways to start it off strong. Some may try out new studying tools they discovered or make changes in their routine. However, for other students, these changes might only stay in place for a couple of weeks before being cast away to the island of forgotten semester goals. If you’re looking for ways to start off your semester strong that you may actually stick with, consider these five tips you may have not considered — each involving your five senses.
If you’re a person who is always moving, try squeezing a stress ball to help you focus more. Stress balls can help you feel like you have more control and can relieve any tension or stiffness that may be in your body, leaving your brain free to focus on the task at hand and ease any anxiety that may come along with the schoolwork or task you are working on.
According to ScienceDaily, certain scents connect with the emotional and memory parts of the brain and can often trigger vivid memories. If you’re cramming the night before an exam and are worried you won’t remember everything you need to, try using an unfamiliar scent while studying and use it again before you take your exam. There are also certain scents that can affect your mood or help you relax, such as lavender, which helps you recall information and peppermint, which helps energize you, stimulates the mind and calms nerves.
Taste is similar to smell, where certain foods can help you recall memories that you may not remember. If you eat unfamiliar food or chew a new kind of gum while studying for an exam, you are more likely to remember what you were doing when you try it again. Again, peppermint is a good flavor to go for if you are trying to stimulate your mind, especially peppermint tea. According to Northumbria University, drinking peppermint tea can enhance your mood or improve your long-term memory, compared to chamomile tea, which is more calming.
The environment you are in can greatly impact your focus. If you’re in a cluttered space, you are more likely to get distracted easily and may not be as productive, especially if it’s a space with a large amount of people or noise. Consider doing work in a more organized, quiet environment in order to study effectively and do well on any exams you may have. A setting change is another way to stimulate your brain and allow you to be more productive, so consider taking a walk break outside or switching up your normal study locations.
It’s common for students or office workers to listen to music throughout their day, entertaining them when things seem too quiet. However, there are different genres of music that can help stimulate your brain and keep you more focused than others. Classical or softer kinds of music are more calming than louder, faster songs. Listening to your favorite songs may make your brain focus on the music more than the content you’re studying, so try listening to something not on your go-to playlist.