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6 Ways to Switch Up the Way You Study

StudentsTips and AdviceUniversity

At university, the days often blend into one. You’re probably sick of spending hours stuck in the library, forgetting what life is like outside, or traipsing across campus to the same place you sit every single day. You’re losing motivation and you’re losing inspiration because it’s all just so repetitive and it’s all just so boring. Here are 5 ways that will help you to study a little differently so that you can produce more effective work and, if it’s not too much of a stretch, maybe even enjoy yourself.

Explore nature:

Who said you had to study indoors? Assuming it’s not freezing or raining, finding a bench in a nearby park can be a nice way to clear your head and get some peace and quiet. It’s an ideal place to read, brainstorm ideas and have the freedom to think. You also get the added bonus of seeing dogs on their daily walks.

Sit on the floor:

This may sound completely ridiculous, but for those of you who have seen the film Dead Poets Society, you know that adopting a new perspective benefits your learning hugely. Instead of standing on a table, which (if you want to imitate the film) is also an option, you can find somewhere to sit on your floor. It is a good way of giving yourself a break from the dreaded desk that you associate with all your past study struggles. And if you drag along a blanket and snacks with you, then who said a floor couldn’t be comfy.

Go to a coffee shop:

This one seems almost too obvious to be a suggestion, but, surprisingly, it took me one and a half years of university for me to go through with this. And it worked. There is something about sitting amongst people that aren’t working, whilst you’re working, that makes you feel better about yourself. Plus there’s cake.  

Post it notes:

f there’s anything I’ve learnt at university, it’s that post it notes are super useful. Need to remember to buy something at the shop? Write it on a post it note. Think you’ll forget to send off your essay tomorrow? Write it on a post it note. However, it is also really useful to brainstorm ideas. If you study a creative course, then sticking up random ideas on post it notes on your wall or desk mean that when you lack inspiration, you can look to them for ideas. I do this with book quotes that might inspire a piece of creative writing. They are even useful for memory-based tasks.

Group work:

working with your coursemates can be a great break from independent study and can be a really good way to motivate each other. Someone might be able to explain something to you in a way that is more understandable to you than your textbook and you can exchange and compare notes! It’s also a good chance to have a coffee and to have a bit of a socialize outside of the library.

Take a break:

For those of you out there who feel guilty when you’re not working, make sure you take a break – a real one. Go for a walk or watch an episode of your favourite TV show. Sometimes you lack productivity because you’ve been too productive - to the point that your brain can’t take it anymore. After returning from your break, it is likely that you will study a lot more effectively. If you enjoyed reading this week's blog, you might enjoy Five Productivity Upgrades To Your University Routine, or 6 Vital Tips For Surviving Your Dissertation.
GRB Blog Author and Student - Alice Davies

Alice is an English Literature with Creative Writing student at UEA and is a huge fan of books, music, films and TV shows.

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