I’m no expert when it comes to studying, I’m not the best at it. But I actually like it and I think I’ve found a few things that work (at least for me). So here are my best tips for surviving your studies!
- calendar + lists = planning
I’ve mentioned it before but I really like planning. Having a really good calendar or planner is essential and will most definitely save you a lot of stress, time and confusion. You will know when to do what, and also it will stop you from forgetting exams and reports. Basically, it will just make your life and your studies so much easier.
- study strategies
Finding your own strategies to get things done and focus is very important, but how do you do that then? You try different things to see what works best! Try listening to music, does that help your focus or is it making you wanna dance instead of studying? Where and with who should you do your homework or review notes? Sometimes it’s a good idea to have study buddies but not always. Maybe you work best in the library, or maybe in the comfort of your own bedroom. Try it all and see what works, and then use the strategies you find works the best! It can also be different strategies for different subjects or scenarios. And sometimes combining strategies can really be the best bet (for example, to prepare for an exam, discuss with friends and then review)!
I’m not going to tell you straight up stop procrastinating and just do it (insert meme here), because I should know that it’s not easy to do that. But, what I can tell you is that you will have to learn how to be efficient if you procrastinate. Of course, the best would be if you started writing/preparing for that report way in advance, but if that’s not possible for you, then just be efficient with your work and learn how to get things done. This is difficult to explain… But if you start studying for an exam or writing the report just a few days before due, then you can afford to waste time. Don’t sit there and wait for the report to write itself or for the knowledge to jump into your brain – do it! And do it without distractions, don’t try doing it for a couple of hours with your phone next to you or watching a movie, instead take two hours and be efficient! This goes hand in hand with study strategies, naturally.
- stay active during lessons
This is a very obvious one, but it might also be my best one. Pay attention to the lesson (if that’s what works for you)! You might think the lesson is super boring but the only one losing on not listening is you. And if you listen, be sure to actually be an active listener, take notes! For me, this is (most of the time) essential to my studies. Then review those notes to really get the information into your brain. Make sure to bring pens! Also, when reading and sorting through your notes, make them more fun and easy to follow by using different coloured highlighters and markers. Always bring your pencil case – see it as your chosen weapons of battle; pick them carefully and make sure they work wonders for your notes.
- take breaks
One thing as important as being efficient during the time you actually study – take efficient breaks! What do I mean by this? While your doing your homework or whatever, take breaks where you truly pause your studies and just do something different. Also snacks. Snack loads, okay? You can forget to eat when you’re stressed, so remember to refuel! I also recommend longer breaks. D0 things that make you truly relax. Friends and study buddies help here too. Stress relief is so important. I just recently started meditating and body scanning, but it’s so good and it truly helps you focus on what’s important. It brings clarity to everything. Your health is always crucial.
- be interested – stay positive
Okay, I was wrong when I said active lessons was my best tip. This is what truly has helped me throughout my studies. Be interested in the subjects, be eager to learn more and do more, don’t just see it as something you “must” do. See it as something you want to do. Of course getting good grades and stuff can motivate you, but I find that if you’re genuinely interested, you’re more likely to actually do your best and learn more. Stay positive, school is not the worst! If you think of it as dreadful and a prison, it will become just that. I try to not hate school. I know saying things like “you’re lucky to be able to go to school” might seem like a cliche but it is true – but see it as your job and also what you want to do. Just stay curious!
I think that was it. I probably missed loads but that’s okay. Please remember that school is not forever, and when you stop seeing it as the most boring thing in the world, it actually can become fun! You will find yourself missing school in just a couple of years. And even if you think nothing you learn about will help you in the future, it actually will. Maybe not the derivative of x, but other things like planning, writing, learning new things, staying interested, checking up on the sources and being persistent in your work.