Graphic credit to Wikimedia Commons
MADI BLAIR | OPINION COLUMNIST | firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone has their own unique way of studying. Methods range from outlines to excessive flashcards to simply looping through a PowerPoint and hoping it sticks— looking at you, Pisces. However, what you may not know is that the universe has already predestined your most efficient workflow. These horoscopes might not be totally accurate in telling you what that workflow is, but at least they’ll give you some new ideas to try just in time for midterms.
Your general extroversion and your inclination towards visual learning makes conversational study a perfect fit. Review by teaching a classmate or roommate the material you’re supposed to learn— you’ll find that your usual squirrel-like attention span is less of a problem, and you’ll retain content better. Just try not to jump down anyone’s throat if they aren’t keeping up with your movement from point to point. We know you like conflict, but now is not the time.
You aren’t one to study in anything but the coziest and comfiest of spaces, so lean into that. Deck out your preferred couch— you know the one— with as many blankets and pillows as possible. A gentle Spotify playlist is a nice touch, as is a warm beverage, but more than anything this is a chance to fulfill all your blanket fort dreams. If you feel yourself falling into your normal napping-not-studying habits, evacuate immediately.
Your study strategy is simple, Gemini: book a room in Jordan, invite as many people as possible to join you and get to work. Unlike Aries, you do your best learning in spaces where you can occasionally bounce ideas off others or take a conversation break without the pressure of active social engagement. The biggest perk of this plan, though, is that you can indulge your penchant for bursts of ranting without any commitment, and really, isn’t that what you’ve always wanted from a social situation?
Like Taurus, you appreciate the art of coziness, but unlike Taurus, it’s less about the study setup and more about the study method itself. Going slow reduces stress and keeps you from falling down the exam-panic rabbit hole, so allocate yourself enough time to move through your material at a comfortable pace. Cramming helps no one, but it is especially harmful to your sensitivities. If it does get tough, remember laptops aren’t waterproof, so try not to cry too much on yours.
We all know you love validation, so what better motivation to study is there than a reward system? Treating yourself for finishing that reading or getting through that problem set will keep you from your usual “I’m dropping out” melodramatic episode, as well as encouraging you to stay focused on your work instead of on the five hundred people perpetually asking you to hang out.
To be honest, I’m hesitant to give you study advice. I’m not sure I could provide anything you haven’t already tried, thought about trying, or have neatly written in your $60 planner to try on September 3rd of next year at exactly 3pm. Those color-coded gel pens look great, though. Keep it up.
Put down your phone. That’s it. Actually, put it on Do Not Disturb. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done when you’re not stuck in the cycle of replying “aw you’re sweet :)” to every single person in the comments section of your Instagram pictures. A real-life study buddy will be extremely helpful to you, as will nice stationery. Ask your nearest Virgo about that— you’ll get at least 20 recommendations.
You are one of the few people who would probably benefit from studying in the basement of Irwin. Embrace it! It’s quiet, calm, and you won’t be constantly distracted by vague acquaintances coming by and starting conversations while you try to remember what meeting you know them from and what their name is. Put your favorite episode of Criminal Minds on in the background and enjoy the productive alone time.
If you haven’t heard of the Pomodoro method yet, let me introduce you. The structure of 25-minute study intervals with five-minute breaks in between is clear-cut enough to keep you from rationalizing an hour-long procrastination walk, but allows enough down time that you don’t slip into your “this library is a prison/I’m buying a Volkswagen bus and living in it” mentality.
Bite-sized studying is key for you, Capricorn. Anything that can be reviewed between meetings and projects is going to help you fulfill your many, many obligations without dropping your GPA in the process. Flashcards, Quizlet and even Kahoot if you’re feeling fancy — they’re all stellar options. Just remember sleep is a thing that needs to happen sometimes, too.
Get weird. This is not a movement out of your comfort zone, but rather a strategy to keep you firmly within it. Diffuse some essential oils, do a meditation on the test material, listen to binaural rain sounds while you do your reading — really, the whole world of new age wellness nonsense is available to you, and it’ll keep you engaged in a way that purely traditional sit-down-and-study methods won’t.
First of all, Pisces, I’d like to apologize for the introductory callout. Seriously, though: rewriting notes will not hurt you. I promise. Structure can be an OK strategy once in awhile, and not every idea can be absorbed just by feeling its aura or emotionally connecting with its essence or whatever it is you normally do. The periodic table does not have feelings, so you’re going to have to settle for just memorizing some things instead of meeting them on the astral plane.