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Your definitive guide to studying like a boss

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CHALK study

It’s test season, and you’ve been at Club Anschutz for hours. You had a crunchy chicken cheddar wrap and waffle fries for lunch, followed by several liters of mediocre coffee. The fluorescent light bulb flickering above is giving you a headache--or is it from the coffee? The frat daddies sitting at the table next to you won’t stop talking the pregame they’re having this weekend. Your groufit is littered with stains. You’re tired. You’re giving up hope. We’ve all been there.

Everyone has their “spot,” their favorite study snacks, their go-to coffee shop. You might think you have it figured out, but it’s time for some new study habits — before yours become too “sacred.” Here’s the expert scoop on the best bites, beverages and backdrops for studying.

Get the most out of your study snacks:

Dark chocolate — Find Ritter Sport for $3.50 at Au Marche, The European Market, 931 Mass. St.

Who doesn’t need a sweet treat while cramming for an exam? When choosing something like a candy bar, make sure you’re opting for dark chocolate over milk chocolate. According to Heather Fiore, a registered dietitian at Free State Nutrition, the flavanols in dark chocolate can increase vascular function and lower blood pressure. That means there’s more blood flowing to your brain after eating it. So, having a few bites of dark chocolate can help you relax when you’re feeling stressed.

Edamame — Find it salted or spicy for $3.50 at Tokyo Sushi, 619 Mass. St.

If you’re the kind of studier who likes to munch, grab a handful of edamame. An article from Johns Hopkins Medicine says soy beans like edamame contain folates, which contribute to levels of serotonin, putting you in a better mood. They also contain magnesium that can decrease headaches and migraines, so you can put down those pills when you’re going through caffeine withdrawal.

Get the most out of your study drinks:

Smoothies — Find the Luckyberry Acai smoothie ($5.99-$7.99) at Luckyberry, 845 Mass. St.

Healthy food is brain food. However, there aren’t many college students who make the time to meal prep or even shop for groceries when they have an upcoming test or paper. Sometimes the most efficient and convenient way to feel nourished is by slurping on a smoothie. Dr. Jae Hee Kang, an instructor at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, conducted a study on the effects leafy greens have on the brain. “Dark green leafy greens have vitamins such as folate, which is important for brain function,” Fiore says. So throw some spinach in your smoothie, too.

Peppermint tea — Find it for $3.27 at Mana Bar Exotic Beverage Lounge, 1111 Mass. St.

Let’s be honest: coffee will always be number one in our hearts, but guzzling down that sweet caffeinated nectar can lead to stomach aches, headaches or nausea. To avoid these symptoms, turn to something more natural. Peppermint tea has been found to decrease bloating, nausea and headaches. It can even help you concentrate. A group of researchers from the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit at the University of Northumbria conducted a study that showed the aroma from peppermint capsules can “enhance memory and increase alertness.” So throw out that coffee pot, you don’t need it anymore! (Just kidding, that would be crazy.)

Get the most out of your study space:

Natural light — Sit outside on the deck at Decade, 920 Delaware St.

Nope, I’m not talking about pee-flavored beer. Natural daylight is beneficial for numerous reasons, including increased energy and productivity. According to a study from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, “employees working in environments with natural light recorded higher levels of energy than those in artificially-lit workplaces.” Natural light also helps prevent eye strain, promote restful sleep, and alleviate stress. Take this as your cue to gtfo out the stacks.

Plants — Enjoy them at Greenhouse Cafe, 1012 Mass. St.

Why do you think so many Instagram models cover their rooms with houseplants? A NASA study found that “plants emit water vapor that creates a pumping action to pull contaminated air down around a plant’s roots,” and then making it into plant food. Not only will plants clean the air of toxins, but they will also help improve your mental wellness. Addison Sauvan at Greenhouse Cafe agrees. “Plants do something really special for some people (myself included),” Sauvan says. “They make me feel like I'm in an inviting space, something warm that says, ‘I'm alive in here, you can be too.’” You shouldn’t just be eating greens, you should be sitting near them too.

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Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.

 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.

Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 

Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*

Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.

Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.

Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.

Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.

Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 

Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?

Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.

Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 

Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!

Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?

Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?

Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?

Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.

Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.

Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.

Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing

Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.

Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know

Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.

Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.

Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.

Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat

Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?

Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.

Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.

Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?

Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.

Girl: She's not in class this semester.

Guy: Maybe she's dead.

Girl: Or studying abroad.

Girl: They're like oil and water.

Guy: Wow, you're so good with analogies.