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Often, my characters will be thinking and flash, some image appears to guide their thought. An example:

I promised her. No. You pinky swore. You swore you’ll drudge down to the library and study. She even prepared a worksheet for you. The worksheet dimly lit appeared in my mind. A poorly lit study cube, somewhere in the basement of the library. I sat alone, in a four by four room, afraid to let any of my possessions touch the grey felt walls.

Every time I try to express this, I write either "It appeared in my mind," or "An image flashed," then I go on to describe the image.

How else can I express this?

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Try describing the present experience of the thing rather than how it got there. This is also more active rather than passive which may help. A variation on show, don't tell.

"I can still see the worksheet as clearly as if she just handed it to me." or "The worksheet might as well be in front of me now. Every detail is clear.", if you have too many I... sentences.

There's nothing wrong with your original constructs. These are variations that have different feel and pacing.

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