Sunday, 7 February 2016

study tips / getting back into school

Hi everyone! Today I wanted to write something a little different, and note down my favourite studying techniques and tricks. I've just started Year 11 and already the workload is immense, so I decided to write a post about how I get through it all. Hopefully some of you will relate to these or even take them on board! (This is also a reminder for me to do these things and not lose complete interest in my work.) So here we go.

1. study somewhere nice.

This term I vowed to myself that I would get out of the house more and study in new spaces, and I have to say I am really liking it. Being out of the house actually gets me really motivated and away from all the distractions/thoughts that come with being at home. Don't get me wrong, I still do a lot of studying at home and I like it, because it's comfortable and chilled. But on days where I really want to get a lot done, going to somewhere like the Sydney State Library or a nice cafe with a coffee which is quiet (library), or has chatter in the background (cafe) relaxes me and gets me ready to study. Even being there for a few hours on the weekend or after school makes all the difference, and stops you from being in that sluggish mood where you've been at home all day doing work without leaving the house. It's also really nice to study with your mates as well as being alone, even if you're not talking! Just being in their company is a nice feeling and it's great because there's always people to inspire you/support you or have a laugh with when you're a bit stressed.

2. going beyond your homework

This term has been a bit of a revelation to me in terms of subject matter, because for the first time I'm actually interested in what I'm studying. Often I'll find myself going off on tangents in the topic area I'm doing homework in and find some really great information that gets me excited and more motivated to learn just that bit more. If you're not into this it's totally cool, but it actually helps my understanding of a subject if I do my own research and go a bit further, beyond the questions I've been set for homework. You don't even have to do a lot, and just a little will put you ahead and ready for the next test/assessment. Who can deny themselves a little edge in class? 

3. get yourself some nice playlists 

Like most people, I love to listen to music while I study or do homework. It really blocks out whatever is going on outside and allows me to create a nice little atmosphere for myself. Obviously it depends on what your mood is like and what works for you, but I love a bit of smooth night-time jazz, classical music or chilled out electronic/house music to jam in my ears while I work. Find out what you like and use it everytime you study, to get yourself in a little routine and comfortable. 

4. try out some new study techniques

Trying to get into a particular study habit is tough. Sometimes when you haven't reached the workload you have now before, your old technique of studying everything at once for 4 hours straight won't work for you. So why not switch it up and try something new? I've recently discovered an app called pomodoro, which tracks 2 x 25 minute sessions for studying with 5 minutes in between, really giving you a chance to change up your schedule. I'm still trying it out, but I'm the kind of person who can study for a while with little breaks whenever I want them (probably not the best technique), but if you're looking for something new maybe try pomodoro or loads of websites have ideas. 

5. alternate between typing and writing

I know this won't apply to everyone, but at my school we rely heavily on laptops for all our typing and researching. Whilst this is great, it can get a little tiring and sometimes I really just want to write it all down and have it in a hard copy format. I do have a book for each lesson, and I try and write down as much as I can in it during class, but also write a bit on my computer. Often I will print out what I've typed up and stick it into the book, and when class comes around, I can just add to it with handwritten stuff. I've found this technique really works for me and means all my information is together. My hands get tired both typing and writing, so alternating between them is a great technique. Just because you haven't handwritten it doesn't mean you will forget it.

6. try an application like evernote

Evernote is actually the best for school work. It means all your work for all subjects is in one place, and you don't have to worry about word or pages or any of those other applications. It means you can safely store everything on one app, which you can access on your phone and any computer. It also means you don't have the worry of one day loosing everything. Try it and you'll see what I mean. 

7. have a hard copy diary 

I really encourage this one, and even though I have use an electronic diary in the past, I just don't find it as helpful, useful or satisfying as a real hard diary. I find it much more effective to physically write down everything I need to do so I can then tick it off and see exactly what I've done and what I need to do. I love to see my entire year and not just on a screen, and it helps me keep track. It also makes me feel safer than online, because sometimes it has stuffed up in the past and I've lost everything! (not a good time) 

Well there we go. 7 studying tips for all you study buffs out there (or if you just need to get shit done). Hope this was helpful in some way! See you soon.

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