So a few days ago I received an email from someone asking for study tips! I sent them a massively long rambling email back and since realised that maybe if I condensed it, it could make a good blog post haha. So here goes. It won't be for everyone but I hope at least some of you find it useful.
As a bit o' background, I have not always been a good student. In fact, I was a bad student for so long that no matter how well I'm doing today, I still feel like a slacker/liar/truant haha. I had to go back to school to get out of my rut, and even now I'm at university I go through bad patches every now and again. So here is how I try to stop myself sliding down that slope.
- Stay motivated
Don't compete with your peers, compete with yourself. It'll distract you, give you a false sense of security and ultimately limit you! Try not to even think about what other people are doing. Some people find it helpful to work with others. I don't! If someone invites you to study together, go once or twice and see how it goes. If it doesn't help you or puts you in the wrong mindset, don't feel bad about not going. A good way to study with other people is to just... study physically together, but without discussing things or worrying if you're doing the same topic or whatever. That way you don't risk spending valuable time working in a way you don't find useful.
Find someone who has already 'made it' (or a type of person / career) to look up to. Think about what you want to be doing in 2/5/10 years. Be super ambitious. Think about what kind of person you want to be in the long term and always have that goal on your mind. Put their picture on your bedroom wall so you can look at it every morning and remind yourself of why you need to work today. Sometimes, if I'm having a bad day, I like to Google that person and kind of remind myself of the bigger picture / remind myself of why I'm here! Never get caught up with the little things. Always keep your focus on that big goal.
- Be organised
But don't let organisation distract you! Make sure you are always aware of your deadlines and commitments. I have a OneNote page I keep updated with seminars and essays, and any marks I get back. Anything where you can see everything at once is ideal. Try to keep track of how far along you are in whatever you're studying, how much more you have to do and when your exams are. Make sure that what you're studying is going to be useful in your exams, and that you know how you might end up using it. Your exams should always be at the back of your mind!
If you miss lectures or don't entirely finish seminar reading, CATCH UP. Don't leave it! You want to minimise your exam time stress by making sure you've actually done all the reading / notes beforehand.
Something I find useful when I have to write notes from a textbook is reading through the chapter first and underlining relevant information with a pencil, and then going back over it and turning the underlined sentences into notes. That way you're reading the text twice + you will have a better idea of what you actually need to make note of because you'll be more aware of the context.
- Avoid distraction
If you don't need the internet, study in places with no wifi. If you do need the internet, try to get through at least 2 hours of solid work before allowing yourself to go on Facebook or whatever you want. Your breaks shouldn't really be any more than half an hour. If you have to study at home, avoid having too much snack food in the house. It will distract you. Don't work on the couch or your bed, work at your dining table or desk! If you have to tidy your room (I know it always makes me feel a lot better to study in my room when it's tidy), get through it as fast as you possibly can and don't do anything that isn't immediately necessary e.g. vacuuming.
Don't obsess over making your notes pretty. They only need to be clear. Anything more than that is a distraction. If you feel yourself slipping, refer back to your goal and try to get some perspective. Remind yourself of why it's crucial that you keep working. Also, be aware that any fun thing you could do later will be a million times more satisfying if you know you've earned it!
Above all, just keep at it and don't give up. Don't tell yourself you can't do it so there's no use in trying. If you put in the hours, you will reap the rewards. No matter how intelligent you are, you will get nothing if you don't work for it (unless you are rich/have family connections that is :|) so start working now. DO NOT let your past failures define you.
And now... outfit post.
|Hat: vintage // Jacket: Sugarlips // Brooch: Topman // Shirt: Primark // Shorts: Forever 21 // Belt: vintage // Boots: Asos|
Thanks to Sugarlips for this jacket! I'm not sure if it quite comes across in the photos but... it's shimmery! Hey! I like to think it adds a little extra to whatever I'm wearing, even if it's simple enough to go with pretty much anything. I'm a fan.
I also want to tell you guys about my friend Cecilie's new Etsy store LuneLuer!
She is Norwegian so, of course, she makes warm things. Hats, to be precise! I have personally witnessed her knitting these with love and care haha. So please take a look (: