phone and homework

Finals are approaching, and Iowa State students are finding ways to stay off social media.

Using social media is a common distraction for students when trying to study. It’s easy to use applications such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to distract from focusing on homework.

Meccah Muhammad, junior in public relations, uses a creative way to stay off her media.

"I have a website blocker, and you can block Facebook, Twitter and other media sites,"  Muhammad said. "It kicks you out of the website if you visit it for more than 20 minutes three times a day. You can't go back to the site all day. It’s called Stay Focused, and I got it from the Google Chrome web store.”

Taking a few minutes away from studying to check your social media is an easy distraction that can easily lead to prolonged periods of time wasted.

Another student, Juliana Ghani, sophomore in advertising, described her go-to's to get her mind off of finals and opened up about why she thinks social media is so distracting.

“I go on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to distract myself from my finals. It’s bad,” Ghani said. “It's addicting because phones are in our hands majority of the time these days, and it's so easy to tap your phone twice to be entered into a whole new world.”

Students who are looking for advice on exam preparation can head over to the school’s Academic Success Center. The Hixson-Lied Student Success Center provides students with exam preparation, study skills and help rooms, along with a variety of other resources.

Chelsey Gates, program coordinator for the Academic Success Center, gave advice for students who are trying to limit their distractions when studying.

“The thing I tell students is that willpower is a limited resource we have each day,” she said. “When you wake up in the morning you only have so much motivation to get stuff done. It’s important for students to consider the times of the day when you’re most motivated."

Gates recommends physical removal from social media or using an extension from your browser to block websites.

“Our brain tends to crave that validation of a computer,” Gates said. “I tell students that social media isn’t going anywhere but your final grades are."

Gates also suggested that students use social media to their advantage.

“I think you can crowd source people for support, post statuses and tell people you’re taking a break," Gates said.

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