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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Study methods: Which will you choose to get that A?

Early bird special

After the day’s classes are done, I trudge back to my room like any other student. All I want to do is hang out with friends and play that brand new video game that just came out today. I want to throw my backpack on my bed and forget that homework ever existed.

But I don’t. I write down each assignment in the order it is due on a bright pink sticky-note, and then I sit down and get to work. I consider myself a proactive student, and procrastination my enemy.

Maybe it’s the sick satisfaction I get from crossing out the research paper on that obnoxiously neon sticky-note a week before it is due. Maybe it’s obsessive compulsive disorder.

Either way, knocking out assignments is worth the grueling hours each night to make way for a free weekend.

It is especially worth it when you know that, come Sunday morning, you will be asleep until noon. Meanwhile, friends wake up at eight to deal with the consequences of their procrastination.

Think about how much you won’t have to cram in at the last second if work is completed the first few nights it is assigned.

The dreaded research paper that sits at number two on the sticky-note can be edited multiple times. Papers and take-home quizzes will be much more thought out and could lead to better grades.

That saying, “the early bird gets the worm?” It definitely applies to proactive students.

Study earlier, head to the library on Monday night, begrudgingly tell your friends that no, you cannot go play Modern Warfare 3. Your grades (and your parents) will thank you for it. Mine did.

Procrastination for the win!

Eight-to-ten page research paper due in two weeks, so I have plenty of time to get several sources and write a little bit each day so I don’t feel rushed or overloaded, right?


That’s what I should be saying to myself when I am assigned any kind of paper or project but it never happens. Regardless of the countless lectures from my parents and different teachers from middle school to college about getting a head start on my work, I never seem to listen.

The official Rory Molleda method for writing a paper includes starting as late as possible, checking Facebook and Twitter as often as possible, getting little to no sleep, and not doing many revisions.

But the best part is you can use this method for any type of homework.

I perform much better when under pressure. And my theory is that everyone can learn to use this method to their advantage. For example, when doing a reading for a class because you know you have a quiz, why do it a week in advance? By doing it the night before, there ‘s a better chance you will not forget the material and will do better on the quiz.

The same principle applies when trying to study for an exam. Going over the whole study guide the night before the exam means there’s less time for you to forget what you studied.

It is also very important to surround yourself with as many distractions as possible when avoiding your work. Because of my ADD, even the post-it notes on my desk can distract me for a good five to ten minutes.

A television and the Internet is a must. A few friends playing video games or watching a movie could work too.

Although leaving everything to the last minute might give me a few more headaches than I would like, my grades are rarely affected.

There is always a little room for improvement but I’m nowhere near failing out of school because I procrastinate on my work.

Meeting in the middle

Why not have the best of both worlds when it comes to studying?

If you tend to fall in the middle of getting work done early or waiting until the absolute last minute to write that 10 page paper (like me) then why not make your procrastination work for you by building it into your schedule?

When I get assigned a paper or a project, I map out when I can get enough work done so I can have some time to relax and watch a movie on Netflix or spend a few hours on Facebook. The key is to manage your time; advice we all receive in our first year at Guilford so we wouldn’t have to pull all-nighters.

For example, on Monday you look at your planner and see you have 40 pages of reading due the next day, a paper due on Thursday, and an article due Saturday night. There is plenty of time for you to get all your work done and goof off at the same time.

First thing is to get the reading done since that is due the next day. As for the paper, you can spread this out between Tuesday and Wednesday by doing half one day and half the other.

By doing it in sections, you don’t feel as pressured as you would if you did it all at once.

Finally for the article, make sure you use the days in between to get what you need, so if you do get down to the wire, at least you have something to write about.

Of course everyone is different. Some people work best under pressure while others feel better getting things done ahead of time.

Although the latter seems to be the best because then you have all the time in the world to do what you want to do, we might as well get real and admit that, as college students, we like to slack off.

However by making your procrastination work to your advantage, you can catch up on much needed sleep, hang out with your friends and get through the semester in one piece.


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