listen, the studyblr community can be a wonderful place - but there’s this emphasis on absolute perfection that really doesn’t help a lot of students dealing with other issues on top of their studies. here are five unconventional study tips that might not fit the studyblr aesthetic but have helped me get straight as whilst learning to live with mental health and family problems too!
1. don’t study whilst commuting
i walk to school, so posts about studying on the bus just aren’t helpful - i don’t have the option to do that! even if i’m taking the train somewhere, the last thing on my mind is studying. i’m thinking about my bed and how early it is and whether or not my coffee is cool enough to drink without burning myself yet. not all of us can start working the second we’re awake, and that’s okay!
instead: record your lessons and listen to them as you travel!
even if you’re not paying attention, you’ll remember more than you think! this is especially useful for languages - i recorded myself reading a few essays and listened to them as i walked, which made noticing grammatical errors so much easier!
2. don’t rewrite all your notes
i love the studyblr aesthetic as much as anyone, but i honestly don’t have the time to write out pages and pages of notes in the hope of gaining a few followers. of course it’s nice to have pretty-looking notes, but when you have a huge list of tasks to do, it can become a way of procrastinating work that’s actually needed for a grade.
instead: organise your class notes!
check the material you’ll study before the lesson! if you’re into the brush lettering aesthetic, write out or print titles off ahead of class so you can stick them on your page without having to waste valuable lesson time drawing them. plus, knowing what you’re going to study before you actually come to it means you can prepare a list of questions to ask the teacher and improve your understanding of the subject! this way, you’ll have organised, clear notes from the beginning, so you won’t have to copy anything out at home.
3. don’t buy expensive stationery
i know everyone seems to have those tombow brush pens and leuchtturm journals. as someone who can’t afford them, trust me when i say i get how it feels. but spending money on expensive products (especially ones you don’t know how to use) is just counterproductive - your grades won’t magically go up if you start shopping at muji.
instead: try budget alternatives!
would you buy a £90 contour kit if you’d never used foundation before? the same goes for stationery! substitute for cheaper products from your local stationery stores whilst you get a feel for what’s helpful for you, not what anyone else has. for example, i tried so many types of pens before realising that my writing’s nicest with gel pens, so now i let myself get more expensive ones - but i didn’t waste more than £5 figuring this out because i’m #cheap. this list of popular studyblr dupes is constantly being added to if you really need to try something, but stressing about your stationery is not going to help you in the slightest.
4. don’t worry too much about being organised
look, we’d all like to be organised, but i’m an adult who’s lived with depression since i was thirteen, and i know it’s not always possible to have that pinterest-ready study den. sometimes your homework will be done on a bed that’s not been made in weeks of it’s going to be done at all, and that’s okay.
instead: do what you can.
had a bad day? stick on some guns n roses and do the work later. too exhausted to function? just finish that last maths problem and go to bed. it’s okay to not have a picture perfect lifestyle - most of the people who post those photos don’t have it either. just do what you have to do to get through the week.
5. don’t ignore your mental health
there’s such a weird culture of perfectionism here and it’s so damaging! of course no one has to post about their personal lives on their studyblrs - but please don’t let that lead you to believe it’s not important. this mentality of “everything is fine and i must be perfect” isn’t healthy.
instead: talk about how you feel!
it doesn’t have to be on your studyblr, but if you’re feeling suffocated by pressure to achieve, or you think you’re depressed, or you’re just going through a tough time and need to vent, talk to someone! bottling things up is not a healthy way to live life - believe me, i’ve tried it. it doesn’t work. there are so many impressionable young people here and we need to stop acting like our studies are all we can ever be.
i’m not trying to “call out” anyone who finds the minimalist note taking and study devotion helpful - everyone here is different, and i’m glad it works for you! but not all of us can do that, so this is for the people who can’t.