15 Ways To Ace This Semester


Better grades, better bods, and better attitudes — it’s what we vow at the beginning of every year and, for some, every semester. Now that fall is behind us and spring is in full swing, we’re all looking for ways to boost our GPAs. And people are always coming up with random things that are “scientifically proven” to help you succeed in the classroom. One semester, I only ate grapes while studying because a premed student told me a study showed it increases memory. Crazy, right? But my GPA was stellar that semester. I’m not exactly sure if it was the grapes part or the basically living in the library part, but either way I can’t complain. Here are some other tips I picked up along the way and how you can perfectly execute a 4.0 this semester.

  1. Play classical music while studying.
    Loudly. In fact, play it so loudly that everyone around you is annoyed to the point that they have no other option but to leave you in peace and quiet with the study room all to yourself.
  2. Color code everything.
    Until you forget what each color means, mistake magenta for hot pink, and show up for the wrong exam.
  3. See all your professors during their office hours before exams.
    They definitely won’t care at all that you skipped class every Friday until now.
  4. Dress for success.
    This, of course, means wearing leggings and oversized t-shirts because dream jobs don’t involve pointless dress codes.
  5. Organize everything in your planner.
    And use excessive stickers because they are very, very important.
  6. Make time for study breaks.
    Especially late night Taco Bell runs, Wine Wednesday’s, and whenever that cute boy down the hall wants to “watch a movie.” For every ten minutes of studying provide yourself a decent amount of relaxation time (i.e. one hour of social media stalking or equivalent).
  7. Exercise to help relieve stress.
    Read: get up as much as possible and go on long walks to the fridge.
  8. Eat healthy foods to help your brain.
    Completely disregard your meal plan and stock your fridge with expensive groceries from Whole Foods. And when you don’t feel like making a fresh meal, run to your nearest non-GMO, antibiotic-free restaurant chain. More money equals more nutrients—it’s simple math.
  9. Keep your desk nice and tidy.
    Organize all the old to-go food boxes into one pile and all the stray papers from class in another. Keep all your books and binders scattered around the floor next to your desk chair for easy access.
  10. Take clear, concise notes.
    Colored pens are perfect for keeping your notes organized (and super useful for notebook doodles). If you use a laptop or tablet for notes, be sure to record your lectures in the event of a surprise online sale.
  11. Have reminders at your desk for important tasks.
    Use sticky notes as much as possible, placing them on any and every surface around your desk.
  12. Highlight only important sections of your textbook.
    But everything is important so just go to town. Your new pink and purple highlighters can’t be left feeling neglected, you know?
  13. Get plenty of sleep.
    Three hours a night should suffice.
  14. Keep calm.
    Another premed student once told me that crying releases stress hormones. Therefore, you should try to cry as much as possible. Call your mom several times each day while breaking down. Maybe even throw in a pregnancy scare because, hey, your education doesn’t have to be the only thing you mess up.
  15. Reward yourself for your hard work.
    AKA “study hard, party harder.” You only get one life. Live it.

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premed donna

Who said you can't be smart and funny? When I'm not writing for TSM, you can find me studying into oblivion, downing a bottle of chardonnay, and/or sobbing for reasons I have yet to understand. All hate fan mail can be sent to

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