Written by Andre Barbarona
In an ideal world, students like me would do our homework early, study for all tests in advance, do meaningful extracurricular activities, and generally are able to balance our academic and social lives. However, the world we live in is a cruel and unforgiving one, and any hope of juggling paperwork and parties decreases as the semester goes on.
Perhaps the greatest proof of our unfortunate reality is our tendency (or preference?) to delay our schoolwork until the day before the deadline. We’ve all had to justify this habit to ourselves—maybe we work better under pressure, spend most of our time thinking of the right idea for this paper that’s due on Tuesday, and pare, that latest Game of Thrones episode was great!
But seriously, many people have either gone through or are currently enrolled in cram school, and this admittedly negative practice has ingrained itself into our work ethic. The following suggestions are not intended to encourage a procrastinating lifestyle, but they’re more of cheat codes that will help you make the most out of a tight deadline.
We repeat: When in Manila would like students to become the most responsible versions of themselves. (Stay strong, fam!) But these tips will hopefully bail you out of the roughest of academic demands.
6. Cram your work in a place you are comfortable in.
Students should be able to study in an atmosphere they are comfortable in. This kind of setup allows them to perform at their best. There is no situation which requires working comfortably more than an all-nighter for a test. Really, most of the “cram hacks” in this list are ways we can use to make the perfect environment for a night of catching up after the procrastination.
5. Have coffee beside you, always.
Coffee is a student’s best friend. It gives you the kick you need for a few hours of (hopefully) serious memorization and math practice. Whether it’s ready-to-drink Nescafe Mocha, a Caffè Espresso from Starbucks, or a Kopiko 78, a shot of caffeine might be all you need to defeat the mountains of word problems and thesis statements.
4. Create the ultimate “cram playlist”.
One of the most crucial ways for creating an atmosphere of comfort is to utilize the power of music to induce relaxation or massive amounts of hype. It doesn’t matter if it’s Pachelbel’s Canon in D or a Nirvana’s Best Hits collection—the right jam will carry you all the way to the end of all your cramming worries.
3. Tune out all distractions.
Of course, none of these setup tips would work if you are unable to focus on the unfinished work that lies in front of you. This tip should override any of the previous suggestions if they become distractions that lure you from finishing your goals.
A little bit of Yoda wisdom goes a long way—“Do, or do not. There is no try. Learn to let go of everything you fear to lose.” Choosing priorities wisely is key to succeeding in any task, and during a cram session, the focus should be on the task at hand—not that tenth video of a cat babbling into a camera. Sorry.
1. Above all else, take care of your body.
Your body is the only thing that you really own, and if it’s broken, it may be hard to restore it to full health. If your cramming habits cost too much HP to maintain, then perhaps it’s better to step back, relax, and manage your requirements in a way that you will not be too stressed out. Even little things like sleeping on time can go a long way into helping your studies, and there is no reason to break yourself completely over a few measly papers.
With these hacks, you can now be prepared for an all-nighter of epic proportions. May the odds be ever in your favor, comrade! Just don’t make it too much of a habit.
Got any more tips to add to this list? Let us know in the comments!