Tips for the Tired Super Seniors Among Us

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Machuca

Around this time of year, people begin giving college students tips for their upcoming midterms.  These traditional pieces of advice are great for some students, but not for all of them.

What about those of us who have been in college for longer than others?  We’re not all starry-eyed freshmen here.  Some of us are fifth and sixth-year seniors who just want to be finished already. 

This is a list of study tips for all the super seniors out there who have been disenchanted by the college experience.

Tip one: Only study for what you won’t be able to guess.

This might seem like common sense, but if you’re really trying to limit how much effort you put into studying, only focus on learning the things that don’t have a high percentage chance of you guessing it correctly.

Remember, if your test is multiple choice, you have a 25% chance of guessing correctly right off the bat. Most test questions have at least one answer you’ll know isn’t correct, so immediately that’s a 33.3% chance of you guessing correctly. This number could jump to 50% if there are two you can immediately rule out.

If you’re trying for a C, which, let’s be honest, you are if you’ve been in college as long as me, then 50% of questions having a 50% chance for you to guess them correctly is good enough.

Look, I’m not a math person, that’s why I dropped out of a science degree. Speaking of which, if it’s a math test you’re taking, you might want to actually learn all the equations.

Tip two: When in doubt, use notecards.

Again, you’re probably thinking that this is obvious. Using notecards is a staple of college studying.

Well here’s the thing, when you’re just starting to study as you walk to the class where you’re taking the test, do you want to be carrying around a large notebook, loose papers or even a laptop?

Of course you don’t.  Half the campus is under construction right now.  It’s dangerous and irresponsible to be walking around distracted, with full hands.  Using notecards is much more efficient.

Tip 3: Don’t procrastinate.

If there’s one thing people who have been in college for a long time know how to do, it is procrastinate. But there is a common misconception about procrastinating. 

People think that procrastinating ultimately saves energy and effort, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you procrastinate on a project, you have to expend a lot of energy all at once instead of spending it in halfhearted bursts throughout the semester.

If you write two sentences of that term paper due at the end of a semester every week, you’ll probably be done well before it’s due.

That way, you’ll have plenty of time in between to not work on it, and it gets done before you have to rush. Besides, I can’t think of anything cooler than a 26-year-old at a college party who slips away to write two sentences of a paper due in five months.

These are just some of the tips I can give to my fellow super seniors. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with spending six years in college. Doctors do it, so it’s perfectly fine if you do too. 

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