Hi lovelies! Today I thought I'd share some of my best study tips, as several of you have asked me and I love to make posts that I know are wanted by you guys. I of course just started studying this semester, so I'm absolutely no expert, but I thought I'd share some either way. I hope you find them useful, and feel free to add any tips of your own in the comments♥
- Visualize your own success – know your goals
Like with everything else in life, I think it’s incredibly important to have a clear view on what your goals are, and always keep them in the back of your mind. Your goal doesn’t have to be to get straight A’s, they should be somewhat realistic. What is the best possible grade you think you could get if you work hard enough? In some classes it might be an A, and in other classes your goal might be to simply not fail the class.
When you know your goal, start visualizing yourself reaching that goal. If your goal is to get an A, visualize yourself receiving that A, calling your friends telling them about how well you did, posting it on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat, whatever! ‘Act as if’ – In your head you’ve already gotten that A. It’s all about mental training, and if you visualize yourself getting the best grade in your head enough, your actions will follow. You’ll get more motivation to study, and you’ll make decisions that will make you reach your goal easier. Should you go out partying this weekend when your exam is next week? Well, no, because you’re getting an A. Do you get where I’m going with this? I use this mental training in so much of what I do, and for me it really helps for my motivation. I visualize myself reaching my goals, think about the amazing feeling of proudness and achievement that would give me, and suddenly it’s so much easier to sit down with the books and work towards reaching my goal.
Another important thing is a good plan, and stick to it! It can be both long-term and short-term plans. Before the semester starts, set up a week-by-week plan of what you need to get done in order to do well, and follow it! If you fail one week, work twice as hard the week after to make up for it. I’m not super good at this, but I will definitely try to do it next semester which is going to be more challenging than this one.
The short-term planning I have totally under control though, especially the day-by-day planning. In the mornings I look at what needs to get done, make a reading plan for the day, and stick to it. It can be reading 50 pages before I allow myself a break for lunch, checking Instagram and all the things us girls love to do, then read 20 more pages before working on old exams for an hour. It’s so much easier to get through if you have a plan.
- Find out what works for you
Most of the people I’ve talked to have been like ‘I need to sit at school and read, I can’t focus even a second at home’. I think this is the most normal thing, but for me, I definitely concentrate best in the peace and quiet of my own home. I’ve always been like that, and I still am, without really knowing why. The point is that when you find out what works for you; Do that! If sitting at school is what works, do that as much as you can. For me, it’s all about making a relaxing atmosphere around the dining room table, and I’m good to go. I’ll make sure the house is clean, and that everything that’s on my mind is done so that I can focus 100% on school. Every day there’s an email (or ten) that I need to answer, a blog post that I need to make, a text I need to reply to or stuff like that, so I make sure to do all of that before sitting down with the books. Then I can sit for hours and hours.
- Focus!! No phone/computer while studying
This one should be a given. When you’re studying – FOCUS! No Snapchtting, no checking Instagram.. If you’re focused you can get through the reading list so much faster than if you’re constantly checking your phone and loose your concentration. There’s different apps that you can use if you struggle with keeping your hands off your phone, where you can make apps like Facebook and Instagram unavailable for a certain period of time. For me, it’s enough to put my phone in night mode, and put it out of reach.
Also a given; What you eat, how you sleep and if you exercise is crucial to how well you do when studying. Avoid sugar and anything that messes up your blood sugar, eat filling and healthy food and make sure to have healthy snacks available. Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning, and always get 8 hours of sleep. Hit the gym or just take a long walk to refresh your mind.
I always eat a healthy breakfast before hitting the books, and there are some things I need to have by my side while studying; Coffee and Pepsi Max. I’m so addicted! If I have those things available next to me, I focus so much better, hah. For you it might be having fresh berries and water (which sounds so much healthier).
This is a tip that a lot of you readers gave me after I started studying, and it’s a great one! Find someone in your class that is at the same level as you, and discuss what you’ve read and what you’ve learned. Maybe she/he has learned something you missed? Plus, I think it’s so helpful to explain something to someone. If I teach someone how to solve this or that equation, I remember it so much better myself.
I’ve actually sat down with my dad a couple of times and done previous given exams with him, and I explain to him why this or that is the right answer to the question. He already knows as he has a similar education and is the smartest man on the planet, but he listens to my explanation and that makes me remember it so much better.
Don’t make your life all about school! Remember to do things that give you fresh energy, happiness and that make you forget all about school. For me, that is spending time with my friends. Talking, laughing, making a yummy dinner, find out what’s up with them and listen to funny stories from their days is just what I need to rewind. I also really like the balancing act of blogging and studying, even though it can be stressful at times. Blogging takes my mind off school which is a good thing, because then I have fresh energy school-wise when I return to the books.
One thing I’ve really noticed the past month, is how important it is not to give up too soon! You should’ve seen me in the first classes, I was like a walking question mark. I looked at equations and listened to the facts, and thought to myself ‘no way in hell am I ever going to learn this’. Then suddenly something clicks, and you get a whole new perspective on things. Everything suddenly starts to make sense, and you just giggle at your former self who didn’t understand this super logical equation.
My 'Selected By Cath' campaign photos for Specsavers. Wearing glasses from Cheap Monday and Osiris♥