Let’s face the elephant in the room: Studying is boring. It is.
The moment you open your book your hand automatically reaches out to grab the phone and check for notifications. Opening Instagram or Twitter is an involuntary action and we’ve all been there. Anything and everything suddenly becomes much more interesting than the chapter on Fuel and Energy.
But whether you like it or not, you have to study. Being an activity that requires you to sit in one place and read material that’s not half as interesting as that young adult fiction you just purchased is a task that you have to motivate yourself to do. But this is essential for impressive grades and building your career. As Zig Ziglar has said “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.” So you ask, how can one possibly make this mundane experience an enjoyable one? Read on to know!
Music Makes Everything Better
Music is the chocolate chip in your cookie, making everything better. Be it school, university, or an internship in a magazine, it helps you get into work mode and focus with much ease. Set up a study playlist when you sit down with your books. It can literally jazz it up and make it a less boring experience.
Note: You need to make playlists in advance so you don’t browse around for music while you’re studying and break the tempo.
Associate different playlists with different subjects – this helps you get into the right study mood for that particular subject. Also, you want to make sure that you don’t play the same music for times when you’re not studying – you don’t want to remember the Pythagoras theorem while trying to get some sleep!
Here are a couple of recommendations for you to add to your playlist:
Change your environment
Staring at the same wall while you’re at your desk can become mundane for your study routine. Alternate between the rooms you’re studying in and to literally “get a breath of fresh air”, get out of the house! Find a nearby green space and seat yourself on the bench, or head to the nearest cafe where you can sit for a few hours and focus on the subject at hand.
Having a mug of your favourite cinnamon tea by your side can also lift the environment and your spirits. Tea being an energizing drink makes sure you concentrate on the literary devices we keep telling you to write! And do anything but study on your bed! We’re all guilty there, and it may give you a great snooze experience as you snuggle up with your textbook but won’t help with your grades.
Actively engage yourself
At Young Scholarz, this is one thing that we reiterate time and again. Make mind maps for the topic that you’ve taken on. Form tables, branches, diagrams – anything to jot down important bits of information in a hierarchical format. What mind maps do is help you to make visual connections that you can easily draw upon in an exam and under pressure. Along with mind maps, the Pdf element is an app that helps you edit pages from your textbook, simply by uploading scanned pictures of your textbook. Once it’s done, you can change the text, summarise it and annotate as you go. Editing text from the page itself aids active engagement and helps you to retain information better, much as you do with mind maps.
Make a study buddy
“You are the average of the five people that you surround yourself with.”
Though this is common knowledge, it is still very true and very relatable. Surround yourself with people and friends who equally care about education and have similar goals as you do. This can mutually motivate you and your friends through active participation and encouragement. If you’re comfortable with the idea, form a study group with them. This could introduce you to new methods of learning and strengthen the drive to study. Learning with one or more friends also builds your personal skills – you can ask questions, develop conversations, debate, and discuss the material that you’re studying. But, group study is a two-way sword. Being beneficial, it can also get you distracted and reduce your productivity. If you’re dedicated enough, this would be less of a distraction and more of a progressive approach for you.
Make it visual
The main purpose of a textbook is not to entertain you, but to educate you – this purpose makes it one-dimensional and doesn’t always pique your interest. But videos on YouTube and any visual content online help to fill that gap and make it multi-dimensional, keeping you hooked on the screen. Reading as a hobby is threatened by OTT (Over The Top) platforms and social media that spoon-feed the brain with information, seldom encouraging you to stop and think on your own. We must use this medium to our own advantage – a complex concept in text form is made much more digestible in video form. Keep in mind to take notes of important points while watching study videos – if you don’t actively engage in it, you cannot retain information and this entire practice would be futile. Points that confuse you can be researched upon from your very own textbook. Make them a team!
There’s no sweeter treat than the one you’ve earned. Set yourself some goals and reward yourself for the achievements you make. It could be a scoop of chocolate ice cream, a pizza slice, or even an episode of your favourite Hulu show. Set realistic goals that are achievable and don’t stress yourself out before you’ve even started! If you’re not able to finish the tasks set for the day, there’s no need to panic about it. You can always continue them the next day and not add on any new tasks for that day. Not finishing a goal does not account for failure in any way.
And lastly… Go out and have fun every now and then! If you study hard, you will enjoy hanging out with your friends even more. Too much studying and too much fun are both a recipe for a spoilt dish, so make sure to balance them out and you may do just fine.