Studying is one of those things that everyone has to figure out for themselves. There is no template, and everyone truly just has to discover what works best for them. However, there are many things we can do in order to relieve some anxiety when it comes to studying. Here are some things that can help alleviate some stress!
Make a Schedule
This is my first and most important tip. If you get one thing out of this article, it should be this. Making a study schedule will not only take some pressure off of your shoulders, but it will give you a realistic idea of your days. Tell yourself you want to study X amount of topics each day, and doing this will help vanquish the cloud of burden that is in front of you. Then, each day, I want you to create a rough hourly schedule of what you will be doing. You do not need to be spending every second studying — simply the amount of time you need. This way, you can also have some free time away from studying.
This is one of my favorite ways to study. I love adding color to my notes, whether this means highlighting vocabulary, using different colored pens, or adding little pictures in the margins. Adding color actually psychologically helps your brain recall information because it is likely to remember the colors and shapes it was written in.
One of my best friends had actually once told me “if you remember something about something else while studying, be sure to go back and check it out”. This is because while you are studying, your brain is creating connections to things it already knows. So, if you suddenly start thinking about something you learned in a previous chapter, be sure to go back and see where the connection was because this will likely prompt your brain to think of something important and remember it.
Space out your studying
I cannot emphasize this enough. Your brain really cannot process tons of information all at once in one day. If you know you have an exam coming up soon, please start studying a couple of days early. Your brain will be able to process the information much more efficiently, plus you will get many nights of sleep for your brain to consolidate and actually understand the things you studied.
Take Frequent Breaks
In order to ensure your productivity while you are studying, you must take frequent breaks so you do not get tired. Every 30 minutes, set a 5 minute timer on your phone to take a break. Walk around, check your phone, drink some water. This is your time, and it will help refresh your brain before you go into another cycle of focused studying.
Have you ever woken up and realized that suddenly you understand something you never did before? There is a psychological term called sleep consolidation. It literally says that while you sleep your brain thinks and has the ability to understand things with a new light. Sleeping helps your brain understand and process the information you studied, so don’t pull all-nighters the week of an exam!