The past few weeks for me have been filled with spending hours on my laptop reading journals, taking notes and trying to remember academic quotes from people I have never even heard of before. To say I had (still have) a lot of uni work to do would be an understatement. I’m in my fourth year at uni which means a dissertation and a million other assignments and studying for my other classes. It has been pretty crazy and thinking of all the work that is still looming over me – and will be until May – is rather overwhelming. I am trying my best to stay stress-free however, and trying to be as organised as possible. I am naturally a very organised person in general, and am always pretty organised with my studying too. To add to my fun I just had an exam (Tuesday, to be exact, it was on News and Politics, and yes it was as boring as it sounds) so I thought I would share a few of my favorite things to do whilst studying/preparing to study, whilst also sharing my ever growing stress about uni.
One thing that I think is really important about studying is your study environment. It is said you shouldn’t study on your bed because that is where you relax, therefore you may find it harder to focus, and having studying on my bed before, I do believe this. My bedroom study sessions always ended in me getting way too comfortable and lying down ready to take a very unproductive and undeserved, nap. In my opinion, a desk is the best place for you to study, and I tend to study in my dining room, mainly because it is a huge table where I can spread out all my notes, books, and laptop. Having a big space like a table allows me to have everything I need at arms reach, and being in the dining room away from all my distractions in my room helps a lot too.
This may just be a preference of mine, but I love to have music on the background when I study, however only classical or instrumental. I find other genres too distracting and I end up singing along instead of doing work. I find classical and instrumental music however so relaxing and lovely to listen to. Classical music and the like is also said to help concentration and is a great solution for anyone like me who finds not only other music distracting, but silence distracting. There are also lots of great videos and playlists on YouTube that are hours long with study music.
When I’m studying I am a big fan of note taking – writing things helps you remember so it is always a good idea, even if it is a little bit more time consuming. With my notes though, colour is everything. My different topics are all colour coded and I always ensure to have quotes and the most important information either written in coloured ink or highlighted. Not only does the colour brighten up the boring notes and makes it look nicer, coloured notes tend to help your memory too.
Since I began properly studying when I was 14, I have always read my notes allowed – something my parents found a little strange as my brother also did it, but I promise it really does work in helping you remember things. Now when I read notes into myself I feel like they don’t sink in as well compared to reading allowed.
To help me stay relatively organised I always use a planner. I use a planner for everything in my life, but it also helps me stay on top of my studying and uni work. The planner I’m using at the moment is a Busy B Academic Diary and it is great. I can’t remember the price (but it was pretty cheap off of Amazon) and is such a lovely planner, it also runs from August 2015 to August 2016, which is so great from anyone in school/college/uni.
Planning my day out every night helps me keep on track and makes me feel a little bit more organised and productive. Plus, who doesn’t love ticking things off when they’ve finished a task?!
I am now taking today to relax a little bit before starting back properly on my work tomorrow, so wish me luck on that! And if you have any exams coming up I wish you the best in luck with them and hope anything I have said has helped you even slightly.