Ask a senior: finals edition


By Sydni Anderson, Staff writer

As the semester closes, final exams and grades lurk in the immediate future, spurring a study-intensive lifestyle in the Murray State student populus. However, the upcoming exams will be the last for some seniors as they move towards graduation. In celebration of their departure, five seniors offer a parting gift – a timely round of study tips for freshman to junior undergraduates to put to good use.

Renn Lovett, Nursing Major

Renn Lovett, a nursing major from Memphis, Tennessee, has aspirations to go to medical school after graduating. Lovett said it is best to break up course material and study smaller portions in advance when preparing for an exam.

“When it comes to the day before the test, I will have already reviewed everything important, so I just go back over what I think will be on the test,” Lovett said. “In Nursing, you can’t just memorize facts and equations and forget them after the test. You have to apply everything you learn in the hospital to help save lives, so it’s important to actually learn the information.”

Lovett said his studying ‘no-no’ is jumping into a study group before going over the information himself.

“Don’t wait until the last minute,” Lovett said. “Don’t do it (study with a group) unless you yourself are comfortable with the information. It will only make you more stressed out.”

Outside of a group setting, Lovett said he likes to study in his room while burning candles and drinking lots of coffee.

Jaime Staengel, Economics and German Double Major

Jaime Staengel, an economics and German double major from St. Louis, Missouri, aid she likes to study, read and do homework at Pogue Library.

“I study in a quiet environment and a mainly clean one,” Staengel said. “My studying ‘no-no’ is having music playing. I personally get too distracted by it and if I am trying to memorise something with music and have to recall it later without the music it is more difficult since I did not study it that way.”
She said two things she finds useful to do while studying are highlighting and using a whiteboard.

“Sometimes I get a little excessive and highlight almost all of my notes,” Staengel said. “I am a fast reader though, and I found that highlighting while I am studying helps me slow down enough to really take everything in. Additionally, if I study for math I have to have a white board and work out as many problems as I can.”

Delia Root, International Studies Major

Delia Root, international studies major from Madisonville, Kentucky, said her study tips include not waiting until the last minute, knowing how much you can study at a time and prioritising what needs to be studied first.

Root said she studies in her room or a quiet place. She said likes to keep everything organized and make lists of what to study.

“One of my quirky habits is if it’s a nice day I like to sit by windows, but facing away from them,” Root said. “The natural light is kind of energising but if I am faced towards the window I will get caught up with what’s happening outside.”

With study groups, Root said she has had both good and bad experiences.

“The main thing is knowing how you learn and how the others in the group learn,” Root said. “If you aren’t compatible it isn’t going to work out. Also make sure they are serious so you aren’t spending time goofing off.”

Ashley Munie, Biomedical Science Major

Ashley Munie, biomedical science major from Breese, Illinois, said her studying tip is for students to find what works best for them.

“You could try drawing pictures and diagrams, recording lectures and listening to them, and retyping your notes twenty times,” Munie said. “I have used all of these techniques for different classes, and they have worked well in some and not in others, so use the beginning of the semester to be flexible with your study habits.”

She said listening to and taking notes on recorded lectures is easier than relying on notes taken in class. Her most stressed study tip is reviewing notes every night before classes.

“Do not wait until the last minute,” Munie said. “If you listen to one study tip, listen to this one.”

Anthony Caturano, Nonprofit Leadership Studies Major

Anthony Caturano, nonprofit leadership studies major from Paducah, Kentucky, said he has three study tips: have a friend that takes better notes than you, get a “Murray mom” or someone who makes sure you’re staying on task and get some good rest.

“Sleep like a mighty pharaoh in his impenetrable sarcophagus,” Caturano said.

To pregame for a studying marathon, Caturano said he decorates his environment.

fills his study area with Power Ranger memorabilia and slips on his onsie pajamas.

“I am a product of my environment, and as such, my environment must reflect who I am as an individual,” he said. “I fill my study area with Power Ranger memorabilia, put on my onesie pajamas, turn off the lights, lay in my bed, and moan in agony due to my insurmountable apathy. Then I get to studying.”

But despite this routine and his tips, Caturano said there are no rules to studying.

“In the dog-eat-dog world of higher education, it gets wild,” Caturano said. “There are no laws and there is no turning back. It’s just you and whatever adversary that stands in your way of a 4.0 GPA.”