What Are Some Things to Keep in Mind when Studying?
Studying is a part of everyone’s lives. From a young age all the way through your adult life, you will probably need be learning things. Whether it be for school, university, or for a job, studying is an intrinsic part of our modern lives.
However, even if we do something a lot, that doesn’t mean we are good at it. In fact, and you are welcome to disagree, but most people are abysmal at studying. A fact that doesn’t mind to show its ugly face when you compare scores in the classroom. As having personally been a high schooler at one point myself, I can remember exactly how I studied, and how my classmates studied.
I don’t want to sit on some mighty high horse and say I was better than everyone else in my class. I wasn’t. But I did do rather well in school. And, since I’ve grown up, I think there are some things that I really could have stood to learn when I was younger. Things that would have saved a lot of heartache and trouble on my part.
I know, being forced to study can suck. A lot of us just want to read a book, play sports, watch TV, play Everygame casino bonus, our favorite sports, or whatever other hobby you might have. However, with a little bit of willpower, effort, personal pushing, studying and learning any topic you like can become much easier.
Look, it’s got to be said. Stop procrastinating. If you feel outraged by this section then it probably isn’t for you. I know, not all people procrastinate studying. However, a lot of people (myself included) do. It is a really bad habit, and the sooner you can squish it out of yourself, the better off you will be.
The temptation to cram last minute before a test might be strong. Or, the feeling that the test is far away and you, “don’t need to worry about it yet,” might give you a false sense of security. Ignore it. Pull it out and give a good slap about the face. Letting a sense of distance distract you will not help you succeed. The earlier you start studying, the better of you will be.
I’m not just talking about the educational benefits either. Sure, starting to study earlier will certainly help you know the material better. But it’s more than that. When you deal with your challenges and responsibilities as they come up, they will be on your mind for less time and will stress you out less. The more you push off things you have to do, the longer you will have for your brain to poke you over and over with the ever present sense of doom as your test date, etc. draws closer and closer.
This isn’t just about studying either. It’s really anything you have to do. Maybe you have a project for work you need to deal with, or maybe your mom asked you to clean out the attic, or whatever else you can dream up. Responsibility is responsibility. Stress is stress. The longer a problem looms over you, the more it will chip away at your morale, and the more you have for other problems to compound on top of it.
It might be all well and good talking about how bad it is to procrastinate, but like most things, it’s easier said than done. Our inclinations are strong, and if we really don’t want to do something (or we really want to do something), it can be very hard to shift directions.
This is something that really each person has to learn about individually, because each person is different and has different motivations. Some people will benefit from positive reinforcement, and others from negative. Others might benefit from personal goals and promises, and others, they might not help one bit.
However, one thing that can be a really strong motivator, is simply declaring things out loud. We don’t realize how strong the voice in our head is at rationalizing and pulling the wool over our mind’s eye. However, when we say things out loud, it is a lot harder to ignore how ridiculous or immature they are.
So, if you find yourself ignoring something you really need to do, stop for a moment. Put down what you are doing and tell yourself exactly what you are pushing off. For example, let us say you are pushing off studying for a biology test. Simply tell yourself, out loud, “I am procrastination right now and not studying for my biology test.”
I cannot guarantee that this will work for everyone, but I think it can be a really powerful tool. Saying something, declaring it, suddenly turns a thought into something real. Speech exists in the world, and that makes the worries or thoughts in your head real.
One last unrelated note, but important nonetheless. Speech makes things real to us. So, if you are having trouble studying, whatever you do, do not call yourself stupid, or dumb, or “bad at studying,” or other things to this effect.
That will only make you believe in yourself, and it can really crush a person’s spirit. It’s really important to believe in the abilities and strengths we have been given, and not to think of ourselves as worth less than we are. You might be facing a challenge right now, but if you set your mind to it, you can overcome it.
Tips for Studying
Now that we have gotten the procrastination out of the way, I would like to go over some more practical tips for studying itself. Not all studying is created equal after all, and there are a lot of things you can do to help your mind organize and remember the information you need to know.
First things first, makes sure you actually understand the material you are trying to study. For instance, if you are studying for that biology test I mentioned above, make sure you actually understand what the textbook is talking about. You can read and reread a paragraph about mitosis all you want, but if you understand what the text is saying and the knowledge within, it won’t help you one bit.
Second, is to remember you are not a machine. Unless you have a photographic memory, just jamming information into your noggin is a terrible way to study. Instead, use memory tricks to memorize the things you need to know.
You can make acronyms and mnemonics to remember information and facts for instance. One of my favorites (that I still remember to this day) is the mnemonic my biology teacher taught us in middle school for the taxonomy of animals. It goes, “Did King Phillip Come Over For Good Spaghetti?” Each word starts with the first little for each level of organism classification being, Domain, Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.
See how powerful that is? I remember it even after years and years simply by using this one trick. And of course, no matter what tricks and techniques you use, summarization and revision are absolute musts. Rewriting things in your own words and going over the material really boost your ability to recall it. Learning with a study buddy also helps, the dialogue back and forth helps the info stay in your head as well. But, even if you don’t have someone to learn with, reading the material and your notes out loud are also recommended.