How I Study

October 18, 2016


It has taken me all the way to my junior year in high school to figure out a studying system that actually works for me. I’m not saying this to sound like that guy, but before now I didn’t really study. I just kind of relied on my memory to guide me through things. But let me tell you, the farther you get the less that seems to cut it. I’ve passed the time of easy classes that needed little to no time to scrape together an A, to higher level high school courses and even college courses that need quite the allotment of time, and in that process there was adjustment that needed to be made. This is where I took to the internet for help. Tumblr was an amazing resource for this, and I've fallen madly in love with the Studyblr community. It’s a community of bloggers who motivate each other through pictures of cute notes, studying locations, and even subject masterposts to make studying easier. It’s no exaggeration that studyblr completely taught me how to study, and I’ve been thriving this year because of it. So, here I am to share the tips and tricks I’ve picked up that have been helping me.
The first and more important part of studying is to be comfy. If you’re in it for the long haul, pajamas and some snacks are the way to go. Grab some snacks, maybe some fruit or popcorn, get a nice drink, this time of year a warm one is nice, maybe tea or hot chocolate, and throw on a nice album or playlist, this↡ one is nice, and you’re just about ready to start. I love listening to the Vitamin String Orchestra while I study, it’s kind of like how people listen to classical music while they study, its classical + my music taste.

I have a lot of materials that probably aren't necessary, but I like to have them around while studying. I have no idea when or why I made the switch, but I almost exclusively write in pen now, a mistake I hate myself for several times a day. My favorite pens are the Pilot G2 ones, because they write so incredibly smoothly. I also have a few muji pens, a studyblr favorite, which are kind of hard to get a hold of in the US since they are a Japanese brand and have very few stores here, but I was able to pick them up in Toronto this summer. Then I like to have a range of highlighters on me to add some color and interest to my notes. I really want to get the Zebra Mildliners, they’re another studyblr favorite and come in a wide range of colors which I really appreciate. I don’t use pencils often, but I like to have a few on hand just in case. The ones I like are the Papermate Clear Point pencils. They’re a standard high quality pencil for me, and they also look nice which is a plus. Moving outside of my pencil pouch I have my planner and my book bag which, incidentally, match perfectly.
I use my planner a lot throughout the day because I most certainly do not trust myself to remember every task I have to do. Here is some of the work I do with my pens and highlighters in my attempt to color code my way through life. I have a few symbols for recurring things like classes, events, and birthdays and it helps understand my week at a quick glance.

The last of my materials are pretty standard school supplies but are essentials. I have my folders, notebooks, index cards and index card holders. As you can see I have a pretty obvious running theme for my school supplies which is black, white, and gold. It helps me pretend my life is in order if all my things flow together.
the studying process
Studying starts for me with reading the textbook. It helps when your text books are this cute. This is pretty standard, you have to read the book, but I like to read the textbook chapters before the lecture so that I go into class with knowledge to base from. To start off I add some sort of cute header to start my notes off whether its just ‘calligraphy’ script or something like a flag and I love to make sure my notes contain at least one color which is where my felt pens come in.

It’s really unnecessary, but it makes me a bit more excited about reading a draining textbook chapter for the next hour. I take notes on the chapter I read, including all key terms and important sentences. I also try to think of little mnemonic devices to plug in to help me with memory.
Then closer to the test I consolidate all the textbook notes I take into note cards. Note cards help me because they're more engaging for me than reading my own notes. With straight reading I could straight read, but not process, but with note cards I have to actually think of something or I don’t advance to the next card. I hope that sentence makes sense. I highlight the edges of the cards to make them just a little bit cuter. I put way too much time here, once again, but making everything aesthetically appealing is the key to actually studying for me and hey, it seems to be working.
My final studying tip is figuring out how to manage your stress and time management. This little note is one that keep on my desk and the sight of it is just a reminder that no matter what I have to get done, I can do it. Breaks are important while doing homework or studying. You’ll endure a longer session if you take little breaks every once in a while, rather than binge studying for hours straight. Get a snack, watch Netflix, scroll though twitter, whatever it is, it’s better than forcing info in one ear and straight out the other because you’re exhausted.
●Final Point●
It’s very easy to get caught up in school and let it take over, but please, dont let it consume you. Your mental health is paramount to anything else going on. If you feel like you need to get away from school, or school work, even if only for a little while, DO IT. Go for a drive, go out with friends, treat yourself, spend time with your family, play an instrument, sing, dance. Do whatever makes you happy and don’t let school EVER stop you from being able to be happy. Nothing in this life is worth your happiness.
If you're interested in more studying tips, I have a Tumblr blog dedicated to studyblr www.musingmary.tumblr.com that has much more information than I could ever fit into a blog post about studying and I have a Pinterest board dedicated to studyblr things called academia.

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