Photo by Tim Gunther

Find a Place to Study Where You Actually Feel Comfortable

Varying the locations in which you study can actually help with information retention. So if going to the library strikes a dull chord of loneliness in your soul, don't go to the library. Go sit on a bench. Go to Backspace and pretend you're in Hackers. If there's a scrap of sunlight in the sky, then for the sake of all that's holy, go to the park. Don't force yourself to conform to a routine just because you think it'll help you concentrate—it won't.

Study Sober

Substances are a reward for studying, not a supplement to studying. Got that? Having a beer while you study might sound like a good idea. It is not a good idea. Ditto smoking a bowl, doing a line, and whatever it is you kids do to bath salts these days. Which brings us to...

Practice Self-Bribery

You're not living with mommy and daddy anymore, which means you're going to have to start bribing yourself to succeed in this world. Your self-bribes don't have to be anything fancy, just something to reward yourself with after you've hit the end of a chapter, or finally finished an essay. Fifteen minutes of internet time. A handful of those pistachio-covered toffee things from Trader Joe's. Bath salts. Whatever.

Form a Study Group!

But only if your study group features a sarcastic handsome person, an Asperger's-y dweeb, Childish Gambino, and Annie's boobs. Otherwise, don't bother.

Buy Some Fancy Highlighters

And those little tabby things that you stick in the corner of your book to mark your page. Get a new pen, and one of those academic-calendar-year day planners they sell at Powell's. Studying is never going to be fun, but shopping for new pens kinda is! Kinda. :(

Manage Your Time

You're going to ignore this advice, but it's good advice, so I'm gonna say it anyway—time management is the one thing that'll distinguish those of you who're going to graduate and maybe grab a job in this shitty economy from those of you who will be living in your parents' garage by April. Make time to study. Make time to study. Make time to study. Don't try to read the whole book the night before the test. Don't try to write the whole paper the night before it's due. Make a studying schedule and stick to it. Yes, I know your roommates are eating pot brownies in the common room, but your roommates will always be eating pot brownies in the common room. And hey, look, it's on your schedule: 11 pm, pot brownies with the roommates! Right after you finish that psych paper.