How to Make Yourself Study

At this point in the semester, most of us are probably feeling pretty worn out. It’s hard to keep up the motivation to hit the books and do your readings when you’ve been hustling for so long, and summer vacation is so close. It’s time to buckle down and find the drive to finish the semester strong. Need some help? Keep reading.

  1. 1. Have fun with your notes!

    If your go-to study method is rewriting main ideas, spice up your notes with colour-coding, diagrams, or even a different style of note-taking. One way is the mind-map style, pictured above. Not only is handwriting notes better for retaining information, but adding diagrams or structuring your notes allows you to make mental associations, which can help you remember answers on your finals.

     

  2. 2. Talk It Out

     

    For those who find that they remember important information best when they talk about it, it can be really helpful to explain key concepts out loud, whether that’s to a friend, family member, pet or even just your own reflection in the mirror. This method also allows you to realize how much of the material you actually understand. 

  3. 3. Buddy Up

    Similar to the last tip, if you’re an auditory learner or someone who likes to ask lots of questions, it can be helpful to study with a friend (a study-buddy!) and explain concepts to each other. You can use flash cards, Jeopardy-style questions, or reading out your notes in your own words.

  4. 4. Take breaks

    A popular study method is to reward yourself for finishing a task or memorizing a page. This is especially helpful if you have a big project to do-- break it down into smaller tasks and give yourself a treat for finishing each one. This can mean taking a few minutes to step outside, getting a sweet treat, watching a YouTube video, or anything else that makes you feel rewarded. My personal method is to split up my study days into timed sessions where I study for an hour, and then take 20 minutes to relax. Find a structure that works for you and doesn’t wear you out.

     

  5. 5. Find the right environment

    A key tip to avoid getting distractions is to find a study space where you feel focused. This can be the library, a quiet classroom, a coffee shop or even a room in your house that’s quiet. If you like to study with music, find somewhere that you can keep some playing in the background or through your headphones.

All in all, try to keep a cool head. The final weeks of a semester are always hectic, but they pass and you’ll feel so much better knowing that you got everything done with ease. It’s also so important to avoid being hard on yourself - it’s normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed, but how you handle the stress is what makes or breaks your study session. If all else fails, imagine yourself on a warm beach where finals don’t exist. We’ll get there.

Good luck!