Hey there! so I got a few questions about studying and I hope that you'll be able to help me! Haha alright so, I just can't seem to focus whenever I have to study. For example when there's an test on Friday I would procrastinate even when I know that I really have to study for the test. Is there anyway to motivate yourself to just study? And I found out that I'm a kinesthetic learner so is there any method you could advise me on improving the way I study? Thanks in advance
Hey! I’m about to tell you my secret for motivating myself to get my work done (early, even!) every time. You ready? Right now, make a specific list of everything you need to do to feel prepared for this test, get your project done, whatever. Not just “study” but “make and review flash cards”, stuff like that. Also add in an estimated time for each item. Seriously, do it now, I’ll wait.
Got it? Now, look at your planner and figure out when you’ll have time to do those things today (or tomorrow, if it’s late – rest is important!). Once you’ve picked your times for today, go ahead and pick some for the rest of the week. It’s best to study a little over a long period of time if you can. Now that those are all in your planner/journal, set an alarm for the first one. As soon as that goes off, and I mean as soon as – don’t wait until that episode is over or until you finish scrolling through twitter – get to work. Just sit down, install a site blocker and force yourself to work for five minutes. After those five minutes, chances are you’ll be in the groove of things and you won’t feel like stopping (if you do, force yourself to do another 5. repeat as necessary).
I’ve erased the word motivation from my vocabulary because left to my own devices I would have only gotten out of bed today to heat up a cinnamon roll. Getting stuff done is all about making a plan and forcing yourself to stick to, especially when you don’t feel like it.
Of course it’s super important to take breaks and leave time unscheduled to relax everyday, but if you can have a little bit of discipline to work in the mornings (or whenever you work best) then you can spend all the time you want watching trashy tv without feeling guilty since you know your work is done.
As for kinesthetic learning, I would suggest finding any way at all you can to make studying into an actual, physical activity. You could try reading a bit of material and then going over it in your head as you take a short walk around your yard, or pretend to teach the information to imaginary students (I’m sure your old teddy bear would love to know more about biology or whatever it is you’re studying). Some subjects lend themselves to hands-on projects more than others, but be creative and try to figure out ways that the information relates to the real world. Best of luck on your test!
Inquiring minds want to know (or maybe just my baby gay ass who has never had a relationship): tell us a story please? What is it like being a married lesbian? What are your days together like, how beautiful and sweet and soft is it? I'm curious about what my life could maybe look like some day because right now it's very sad and lonely and pathetic because I'm lazy and procrastinate and second guess myself.
Well the realistic answer is I just texted my wife (who’s been away for 5 days) GET AWAY FROM THE GODDAMNED SHEEP AND COME HOME (she’s in Aberdeen, for reasons passing understanding). But this is a sweet question and I’m going to kick my usually sarcastic ass out of its own way and answer right.
It’s lovely. It’s absolutely worth waiting for, even if it takes longer to get there than you’d like. There is something so irreplaceable about waking up (almost) every day to the person that picked you, that you picked, out of all the people. It’s safe and it’s fun and it’s exciting and it’s calming. It’s the one person whose hand on your shoulder is enough to let you take a breath you haven’t been able to take all the way in. It’s stupid stupid in-jokes based on misheard song lyrics or assigning personalities and dastardly plans to the cats. It’s asking for the third time if you put the recycling out even though I already told you I did and then complaining about it to Twitter.
It’s checking your phone during a manic day at work to see she’s texted you a picture of a raccoon because it looks like Nora. It’s the fact that she blithely accepts that cat’s full name is Nora No Pants and doesn’t even argue. She’s the person I go to when everything is wrong - even when she’s a little part of what’s wrong - and knows enough to help make it right. It might be a cup of tea, or a link to a silly thinkpiece to get my blood boiling when I need it to be. It’s like other people hear static, whereas she always tunes in to the right station.
As someone who lives and dies by what other people think of me, as much as I wish I didn’t, she’s the one person I never hide from. I never affect a different mood to what I’m actually feeling, I never have to pretend to like something I don’t. She’s supported me through bad mental health, through losses and victories and you know that thing about treating those impostors just the same? It’s like that. Whether I’m at my best or my worst, I’ve never known her to love me any less, even if I’m struggling to feel it correctly on my end.
I don’t like terms like other half but there’s something to be said for partner, for co-conspirator, for other terms that imply a genuine union - one far less doomed than the United Kingdom, hopefully. I don’t feel any less myself, but I firmly feel part of an us, of a we. She’s usually my first thought and my last thought, the first consideration in any decision beyond my own gut feeling, and though I’ll never drink her weird-smelling tea, I wouldn’t give up the way it tastes on her lips either.
We’ll fight and have tough times and general exasperation, but the foundations see us through.
I wish you the same, dear anon. Not this particular one, but your equivalent. ;)
What is your biggest flaw? Some people would say I’m just too damn charming. Handsome lech they say. Actually, it’s procrastinating so there you have it & also evidently telling bad jokes because you probably didn’t laugh at that first one.
What sort of distinguishing features do you have, scars, freckles, a large birthmark? I’ve got a tattoo & it’s lame & you’ll never see it.
What is your biggest pet peeve? When people are rude to anyone in the service industry. Why you gotta shit on your barista?
What is your worst fear? Anything happening to my sister or nephew.
Do you have any family members you’re close to? As mentioned above. Couldn’t be further removed from my dad.
On an average day, what is found in your pockets/purse/backpack? Phone, wallet, house/ car keys, a lighter & usually a sticky note or other trash paper with something scribbled on it that I thought was important at the time that will inevitably end up being tossed.
What sort of quirks do you have? Pretty much always chewing on gum or a mint. My phone is always about to die, I don’t care if I just plugged that fucker in, I’m on ten percent. Also a closeted grammar Nazi.
Where are you from, what do you love about it? I’m from a suburb just north of Boston but it’s much easier to just say Boston. I can’t stand my particular hometown, but I love Boston as a city. The history, the people, the sports teams. It’s hard to be a Sox fan out here.
How would you describe yourself? A sinner.
What does your accent sound like? Like I don’t remember what a ‘R’ is.
Pick a song for your anthem. Pick any Artic Monkeys song.
What is your favorite food? Hot Cheetos or anything you can get spicy.
What sorts of hobbies do you enjoy? Writing, seeing movies, camping, riding motorcycles, drinking copious amounts of booze.
What is a big pet peeve of yours? People smacking when they eat.
What do you believe makes a good roleplay? Dedicated players that are always down to plot & deep characters.
What song would be your anthem? I don’t even know… Acid Rain by Lorn because it’s aesthetic as fuck.
Do you like to read? If so whats your all time favorite book. If you don’t like to read, whats your favorite movie? Favorite book… that’s real fucking hard but since I see it on the bookshelf over there I’m gonna say American On Purpose by Craig Ferguson. Favorite movie is even worse, but I’m gonna say The Maltese Falcon, Gone Girl or What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.
What is one of the happiest moments you can recall? Not gonna lie, the first time I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter & bought the fucking Gryffindor cloak comes to mind.
What sort of things inspire you to write? Scotch. Just kidding sort of, definitely movies & music. Sometimes if something is really bothering me in real life, that usually translates into a pretty good oneshot.
How did you end up roleplaying? My best friend in middle school was all about it, so you already know that this story is leading somewhere embarrassing & involves wolves & Neopets. Though, can I just say how proud I am for my fourteen year old self to be out there rping Sweeney Todd?
‘Procrastinate comes from the Latin 'Pro’ and 'Crastinum’, which makes it literally mean 'to/for tomorrow-’ -I tell myself as I’m trying to convince myself I’m doing something useful instead of procrastinating my actual Latin homework.
As someone who often struggles with testing, I’ve got some tips for you on how you can prepare for your exams and some tips on how to stop procrastinating and get things done!
Preparing for exams-
Review your syllabus- This helps you know and understand due dates and key study notes or even things that could be on the exam.
Pay attention in class- This is major. Often times when big tests or exams that are coming up your teacher will share things that could benefit you during the exam. Also its important to pay attention in class because if you’re not paying attention its a good way to fall behind and falling behind sucks!
Take good notes- Make sure you can read your handwriting. It helps me to write in pen and color code certain topics so help me highlight key points and ideas.
Make studying a daily thing for you- This helps train your brain. In easier terms having a set study time really helps because its creating a schedule for you to follow and hopefully learn from!
Create an exam template or format that you can study from. Pretty much just like a good notes page or even a practice exam. You might need to chat with your teacher about getting a template or a practice sheet. But I personally find it helpful to create your own “pre exam”
When studying for exams please do yourself the extra favor and leave your phone and other electronics away from you because having the phone is a major distraction for almost everyone!
Review passed assignments or worksheets that were handed back to you, chances are some of the material on those papers will be on the exam!
Ask for help when needed! Again, this is major. Asking for help doesn’t make you less smart in fact it shows that you’re wanting to learn something new and get places with your life.
Take breaks when needed. When I study I study for 30 minutes then take a 5 minute break and get some water or fresh air then return back to studying. Breaks are important because everyone needs to just sit back sometimes and think.
Procrastinate. Yes, I know what I just said.
PROCRASTINATE. This might seem crazy, but I find that if you allot
yourself about 10 minutes of time to actually procrastinate, your body
can get over that I-don’t-want-to-be-productive stage. I
suggest “wasting” time by cleaning up your study area. It is a way of
being productive while procrastinating studying or homework. So, clear
off you desk, wipe it down, if you’re into disinfecting like I am,
disinfect the area and breathe in that wonderful 99.9% germ-free scent.
If you still have time left, go ahead and go through any social media
that you are dying to check or that usually distracts you while you’re
working. Now you have a clean space to work in (which I find helpful and
motivating) and no social media buzz tempting your brain.
Get rid of your phone. Phone, tablet, iPod,
whatever electronic device that is not needed for your task you
should “get rid of.” Mine is usually my phone. I usually silence it and
turn it upside down so I can’t see the screen. Either that, or I will
put it in another room. Out of sight, out of mind. This way you will not
be tempted to go through social media or play games on your phone or
other electronic device.
Music. Put on your best studying/ motivational
music. For me, its either classical pieces or film scores. Whatever
music keeps you focused and gets you in the mood to study,listen to it.
Chances are if you listen to the same genre whenever you are studying
then upon your listening to this music your brain will recognize that it
is time to get to work.
Get your work in front of you. One of the best
things I can do for myself when tempted to procrastinate is to just put
the work on my desk in front of me. I hate staring at it. I hate it
being there. I just want to get it out of the way so I won’t have to
look at it anymore. Even though I will be mentally cursing the work in
my head, I’m always relieved when I don’t have to look at it or worry
about it anymore.
Adjust your planner. I get it. Sometimes you just
have a bad day and looking at your planner and all of the things you
have left to do just make it worse. I’ve been there. I think we all
have. I suggest numbering off your tasks in order of importance.
Accomplish the top 3 at the least. Sometimes a heavily loaded planner
can make us feel overwhelmed and want to procrastinate all of the work
ahead of us. Just start with the first 3. Maybe if you’re left feeling
motivated enough, you can move on to task 4, then 5, and so on. If you
finish the 3 and are just completely done and exhausted mentally (and
perhaps physically), that’s okay. You did the tasks that held the most
importance and that is an accomplishment! It’s okay to feel overwhelmed
and take a break sometimes. You’re allowed.
Just do it. Nike adds are right. Sometimes the best
way to overcome procrastination is to just do your work. I know, I
know, you’re tired of seeing this suggestion. I’ll be completely honest,
I am too. Who ever just wants to do things? Ugh. However, as
much as I hate to admit it, this is usually the best method to get
things done. Take for example if you’re revising a paper. Start with
fixing one point, then do one more. Eventually you’ll have your entire
draft revised in no time. You have to force yourself into your
motivation. Once you just do it, all of your work will get done before
you know it!
Hey so idk if this is normal or if it's something I should be worried about but I'm a junior and of course this is a stressful year for everyone but whenever I think about the work I need to do I feel as though there's something compressing my lungs and making it hard to breath, even if it's not a lot of work. So I let myself relax/ watch tv in hopes of being able to forget about the stress but then it just gets worse bc I feel like I'm wasting time. (1/2)
Once I start the work I have to battle with myself to keep from freaking out… I can’t tell if I just have a serious case of procrastination or something more severe? (2/2)
firstly, disclaimer: i am by no means a medical professional. i am a random high school student on the internet. please consult a certified adult after you read this reply, because i am most definitely not qualified to give you medical advice!!
chest pains/breathing difficulty can be symptoms of a panic attack, where your brain tricks itself into thinking what’s in front of you is dangerous (when it’s not) and triggers your fight-or-flight instinct which leads to “freaking out” as you described. definitely see your pediatrician about this (who can refer you to a psychiatrist, etc)—they can help you with coping mechanisms, therapy, medication, if needed. if it is difficult talking to your parents about this (they don’t ‘believe in’ mental illness, they think you’re asking for attention…the list goes on) discuss how you’ve been feeling (both physically and mentally) with your school counselor: they can help you figure out where to go from here. they are there to listen to you. that’s what they’re paid to do.
i was in a very similar situation my junior year, so here are some things i’d say to junior year-me:
1. stop stop stop beating yourself up. stop pushing yourself to do things your brain won’t let you do.
2. you are not lazy. it is not your fault that the neurotransmitters in your brain are wonky and won’t let you feel anything, or do anything.
3. do not let the phrase ‘junior year is stressful for everyone’ invalidate how you feel.
4. above all, please take care of yourself. try your best to nourish your body and your thoughts…it will be difficult, but no more difficult than how you’d feel otherwise.
i’m proud of you for relaxing/watching tv when you start feeling stressed. do keep on doing that, make yourself a snack if you can, have a mug of tea. go to bed earlier. try to go outside for 10 minutes and just absorb some vitamin d.
for trying to do work, designate a space that’s solely for doing work. that can be the dining table, your desk, the couch—any place that makes you feel most comfortable. keep both your study space and to-do list as minimal as possible. if you only have 3 things on your to-do list, then have 3 things on your to-do list. it’s not a sin to have a tiny list of tasks.
try not to feel guilty about ‘wasting time’ when you’re taking a short break (or a very long one). remember that productivity is as much resting/taking care of yourself as it is working—you need both to be productive.
if you need to, drop a class from your schedule that isn’t essential for graduation. don’t feel sorry about it, if you need to make up a story to your friends about why you dropped it, do. but don’t feel sorry about taking necessary steps to regain your mental health.
okay this turned out a lot longer than i anticipated, but please please talk to a professional/trusted adult in your life, and keep on being good to yourself. i have a tag on mental health with advice on dealing with school in such situations! don’t forget to breathe, i know you are brilliant and capable of so many things.