5 Tips to Survive Studying
Updated: Mar 5
As university/college students we all know how hard it is to study sometimes. We all have to balance different personal and professional lives and still strive to do well in our academics. Personally, I find myself constantly finding smarter ways to study in order to save time and retain more information efficiently. As they say, “work smarter, not harder.” Below I have collected some studying tips that have helped me and some people I know! Remember, what might work for someone else, might not work for you, but I always suggest to try everything and see what works best for you!
A Good Study Environment.
This one really applies to everyone. It is more important than you may realize how impactful your work environment can be. Try to find a space that is well lit to begin with. If you have poor lighting, I highly recommend investing in purchasing a desk lamp! Also, make sure your workspace is neat, it makes a difference! If your circumstances allow it, it is also recommended to switch up your studying setting. Personally, I love going to the library, coffee shops and different spaces on campus! Keeps your mind fresh and research proves it! If stuck at home, try switching from your office/room to the dining room table to kitchen table etc.
2. Find your focus tunes
Personally, music is my driving force. I love and listen to music almost 24/7. I know many students who listen to classical/instrumental music to study which helps them focus and not get distracted by lyrics. Research shows that this is very effective. But again, not everyone is the same. I find that music a little too slow and puts me in a “sleepy” mood. If you’re like me, I recommend listening to something more upbeat and explore what works for you! If you’re one that doesn’t like music at all for studying, I met someone through my studies like this and he said he listens to things like “white noise” or “beach waves” to keep focus and block out his environment! Interesting no? I personally highly recommend Spotify as they have thousands of genres and they give student deals for premium!
3. Nourishing your mind and soul
Staying hydrated and well-nourished is extremely important when it comes to our studies or really any day! How can you expect your brain to work effectively if you’re not fueling yourself properly? Any student knows that when we get to studying, we’re focused for hours and hours so it's important to plan ahead! For example, I personally always make sure I bring my water bottle with me and a hot drink in my travel mug! I find myself a lot more productive if I am constantly drinking my water or sipping my tea while I work! Snacks are important too! I’m a huge fruit fan and pack snacks like grapes, tangerines, strawberries, cucumbers, granola bars and more! Meal prepping is also very helpful when hardcore studying and having long days on campus/work. Eating healthy especially before and during your studies is super helpful!
4. The 45/15 Method
I can not stress this one enough. I used to be the kind of student that would study for 3 hours straight, then take a break. I thought it was going well until I tried this method and noticed a difference. This method requires you to study intensely without distractions for 45mins and then take a 15min break. Mind you, if you do this properly it will do you wonders. Set a timer, focus and when you get a break, get up and walk around. This improves brain function and keeps you more active. Most phones have their own version of “focus mode” which blocks out distractions and is set to a personalized timer. When using this method, it is usually recommended to do this 3 times, then take a one hour break and start the cycle again. Very helpful!
5. Simply reading isn’t studying
Every student has experienced reading something and then rereading the same material because they did not retain the information. This overtime can be a huge waste of time and energy. That’s why it’s crucial to read and take notes effectively. What I find that works for me are to read somewhat backwards. Not literally. What I do is I read the chapter summary or key points of the chapter, then I write down any important definitions or key concepts, and then read the chapter thoroughly. Doing so gives me a better perspective on what I need to grasp from the chapter and skim through the less important information. When studying my notes, I find that “crunching” down the information helps a lot. Summarizing, using acronyms and even drawing out concepts can make a big difference! Be your own teacher and study efficiently!
In conclusion, make sure to try different strategies and see what suits you! But most importantly take care of yourself first! Happy studying and keep smiling :)
Written by Jasmin Pineda