Monday Master Class: Three Unexpected Study TipsAugust 6th, 2007 · 5 comments
Most study advice, admittedly, is not all that surprising: study earlier, have a schedule, don’t write papers drunk. Occasionally, however, in the course of my research, I stumble across insights that catch me by surprise. Below, I’ve listed three. See if you can identify the common thread that connects them.
- Sit Next to the Hot Chick
For the men: always try to sit next to the most attractive person in the class. From an evolutionary perspective, we males tend to be, in some aspects, well, not all that advanced. The close proximity of the opposite sex has a way of heightening our energy and attention-levels. The side-effect: it’s a lot easier to stay alert during class, and you avoid the battles against fatigue that can make processing information near impossible. (One might assume that a corollary holds true for women: Sit Next to the Hot Guy. But I learned, long ago, to stop trying to predict the female psychology. I’ll open the validity of such a corollary to debate from among those in the audience with more experience with these matters…)
- Get Ripped
Exercise is good. A serious athletic endeavor is better. Examples include: a competitive intermural team, training for a triathlon, or undertaking a hardcore weight regimen. You get two benefits. The first is the day-to-day energy boost of being in peak physical condition. You can concentrate harder for longer periods. The second is the gain in psychological resiliency. When you get used to tackling and accomplishing demanding tasks, procrastination wanes.
At least once a week, party. Hard. Why? Because it’s fun. It’s social. You need the release. And it provides balance against the academic battles you fight during the week. It’s a lot easier to start work on Sunday afternoon if you stumbled home Saturday morning at 4 am. The universe seems in balance. You’ve had as much debauchery as you can handle and now it seems reasonable that you might do some work.
What is the common thread to these three rules? Maintenance of psychological well-being. This is often overlooked in our rush to get to the details of how to study, or plan our day. But it’s crucial. If you’re not happy, motivated, curious, and emotionally stable, you’ll fall far short of your potential.