It doesn’t. At least not physically. But knowledge isn’t just power, it’s food for your mind. So you should feed your mind the same way you feed your body. Here are 3 ways to feed your mind in a healthy way to keep yourself from becoming intellectually obese.
1. Study every day
You eat every day because your body is hungry every day. Well, your mind is hungry every day too so you should study every day: maybe 3 times a day, every time you eat so you don’t forget. (By the way, boredom is mental hunger. It’s your mind’s way of telling you, “Teach me something!” Unfortunately, when we’re bored we usually just go on facebook, Instagram or watch a movie, which are all the mental equivalents of greasy chicken shack food. Instead, the next time you’re bored, do something that actually challenges you: read a book, start learning a new language, write with your weak hand or write an essay on something interesting and talk to your friends about it.)
Anyway, the holidays are coming. But you’re not gonna starve yourself all week just because you know you’re gonna eat on Thanksgiving. But we do the same thing mentally and wait until the day before an exam to cram for it. The same way that stuffing your face with food after fasting for a week will get you sick at best or even kill you, cramming last-minute will do nothing but give you mental indigestion. Not to mention you probably won’t remember anything afterwards because your mind will just vomit all of that undigested information onto your exam paper, anyway. So take care of your mind: study a little bit every day and you won’t have to cram as much the night before.
2. Read ahead
Whenever I went over an American friend’s house for a birthday party or to just hang out, my mother would always make sure she fed me before I went. Why? Because no one feeds you like Haitians do. It’s nothing against Americans, it’s just that Haitians cook for an entire village so we’re not used to just eating salads or French Fries and burgers at a barbeque. So she would feed me before going because she knew that my friend’s parents wouldn’t feed me the same way.
It’s the same thing in college. Professors aren’t there to feed you anything. You’re supposed to read the material on your own, digest it yourself and then bring the stuff that’s too hard for you to chew to class and ask questions about it. But if you think your professor’s gonna spoonfeed you everything like they did in high school, be prepared to starve. So read the material before you go to lecture. And hopefully this will help you dodge those last-minute jerk moves some sociopathic professors pull off…
Study in different ways
I love trying food from different cultures and that was the awesome thing about going to NJIT. I got to eat curry chicken and naan with Indians, kimchi with Koreans and drink bubble tea with Filipinos. It’s also cool combining old foods in new ways, like ketchup and eggs, Pepsi and Mountain Dew or peanut butter and cheese(Trust me on that last one. It’s amazing.)
You should do the same thing with studying. Don’t just stick to the same study habits you’ve been doing all your life—spice it up a bit. Study early in the morning and late at night, in your room and in a forest, with music and without music, alone and with study groups, record your lectures and re-type your notes. Get creative and try new things until you find what fits for you. Anything can be fun and everything should be fun—even studying. I used to write short stories based off my lecture notes in my Bio classes. To this day I still remember the A Team that breaks Big Daddy Cyctochrome C out of prison to destroy the cell during apoptosis. That probably meant nothing to you, but it’s okay—it would if you were taking Cell Biology. Come to think of it, I probably could’ve made a decent amount of money selling those stories during finals, but alas, hindsight is 20/20.
So please remember these 3 tips: study every day, read ahead and get creative. This way, you’ll be in good academic shape come finals and not become a mental Snorlax.