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Study help - not resting on my laurels

Anarchy Rules!Anarchy Rules! Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
For most of my time in education I've been getting by with just doing the bare minimum of work, and it's turned out pretty well. I got decent grades at high school and 6th form, and a low 2:1 in my first year of university.

When I think of how little work I do throughout the year I know I can probably achieve a first, but I just can't motivate myself to sit down and do routine studying - at the moment I only really work to deadlines of essays and exams.

Can H/A recommend any good tactics for studying and getting out of this lazy mindset? If it helps my degree is in Microbiology and Pathology.

Anarchy Rules! on


  • Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    You have to want it. If you don't want it you're just going to keep being a lazy sack and not do your homework. Believe me, I was there. Get rid of any distractions around you, or remove yourself from the environment you are being lazy in.

    For me, getting rid of the tv and internet were imperative. If this isn't an option, rent a study room at the library, or find a nice quiet spot away from any distractions that you can study at. You need to form positive habits.

    Forbe! on
  • Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Don't study where you play. Make a schedule for every hour of the day and stick to it. If you can do this for a week or two, then you will fall into a pattern that will be easy to maintain.

    Mace1370 on
  • LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I am/was in the same boat as you. I never had to try in school, then as I've progressed through University, things have become a little harder. I have a hard time studying at home because there are a million and one things that are way more fun to do there. Videogames, tv, movies...

    For me what has worked is driving to a coffee shop or library and not leaving until I've done what I've had to do. Don't bring your laptop unless you NEED it. If its just to write notes, use paper and pen.

    Lail on
    Switch friend code: SW-5887-7359-5380

  • LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Forbe! wrote: »
    You have to want it.

    My brother was similar to you. Very intelligent, if he put his mind to it. He scraped by, just missing the bar every time, but then things turned out OK again, validating his bad habits. For example, he ended up in clearing after missing his A-Level grades (which weren't that high, TBH) and then clearing puts him in a better university than he applied to. He leaves with a 2:2, which really doesn't mean a lot apart from you actually went to lectures once in a while.

    Moral of the story: he didn't want it.

    Instead of trying to find things in your vicinity that will make you study (sticks), start looking for things in your future that you want to achieve (carrots). How much easier will those be to get if you do apply yourself and get a first? How much better off will you be having learnt better ways to manage yourself?

    I'm absolutely killing it at graduate school in the US because I want to graduate badly. I'm not fucking around, because what I want is after this PhD. The people who end up in graduate school for a decade are those that don't know why they're there, flounder and either scrape by having wasted five years of their life on subsistence wages or drop out completely.

    Find what you want.

    Lewisham on
  • John MatrixJohn Matrix Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I'll agree with wanting it.

    Another method that I used extensively in college was to plan out a full two weeks ahead using a calendar. I look up what reading is due by when and then break it up into equal chunks in the days before the due date. If there's a paper due on Friday, I try to get all the reading done before Wednesday so I have wednesday and thursday free to write the paper.

    If you break up and evenly spread out the work load, you can free up friday and saturday night for relaxing, partying, socializing, etc. Study Sunday - Thursday, make sure you take the time off for a day or two on the weekend.

    John Matrix on
  • oldsakoldsak Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Plan a study schedule setting aside blocks of time to study in the library every day. Then go.

    oldsak on
  • RubberACRubberAC Sidney BC!Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Find someone to study with
    I know I am way more motivated to study if i have someone else who is motivated as well
    also its a really good way to study!

    RubberAC on
  • b0bd0db0bd0d Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I find that leaving to go study helps. If I'm at home, I can't study for shit. Too many distractions. TV, internet, video games, etc. but if i'm at the lab/library/student center, i can focus. there's just a enough noise to help me pay attention. And I second the you gotta want it. If you really want, you could look at it like a job. I got 25 hours of school this week that needs to be done. Clock in and go to work. take a break every hour or so. Treat it like a joooorrrrbbbbb

    b0bd0d on
  • jedikuonjijedikuonji Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I asked the admin office in the language building (I was a Japanese major) if I could have a classroom 3 to 4 nights a week. They were kind of caught off guard by the request I think, but went ahead and gave me permission to use a room so long as it wasn't needed for anything else.

    I let my classmates know that I would be running a study group in that classroom for an hour or two at night. This helped me for several reasons:

    I knew other people would be expecting me to be there for the study group and felt an obligation to show up.

    I was out of the house and in the school building I spent most of my time in anyway, so it kept me focused on my schoolwork.

    It was way more fun then trying to pour through the books by myself.

    I got to know my classmates better which led to having more to do when not studying.

    Of course, just planning a study group wasn't enough. As was mentioned earlier, you also have to want to do it. But studying in an "official" school building with other people certainly helped keep me focused on the task at hand.

    jedikuonji on
  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Re: getting into the habit of doing something every day (studying), this is an idea attributed to Jerry Seinfeld. He was talking about practicing writing, but it can really apply to anything.

    Get a big calendar and put it on the wall in a very visible place. After you've spent 2 hours studying/gone the the gym/written a joke/practiced piano whatever for the day, put a big red X or giant dot or something on that day. Keep doing that, don't break the chain. Keep it going into the next month. It'll get very satisfying seeing a visible representation of the work you've done, and you won't want to break the streak.

    It might not work for everyone, but it's an idea.

    KalTorak on
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