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Coronavirus pandemic: How to study during this time

  • Coronavirus appears to have halted virtually every significant activity across the globe. With a lot of postponed concerts, events, and shutting down of institutions and centers of learning, it’s obvious this pandemic affects every facet of life. If you think it’s hard to study during this COVID-19 pandemic as a student, then there’s some vital info for you in the following paragraphs – only if you are a student.

    Months ago, I was sitting in a classroom. It was full of eager students—pens in hand. Books of varying sizes flipped open on the desks. A gallantly dressed lecturer is standing before us, gingerly holding a marker in one hand while flipping through his sizable academic material with the other. It was the typical­­ university lecture hall scene.

    It was picture-perfect until we heard the news. The school had to shut down due to a new pandemic. It was claiming lives, and caution was beyond necessary.

    To some students, COVID-19 is a beautiful genie-wish come true. The father of an unprecedented holiday that looks unending. To another group of students, it is a nightmare of late graduation and intensive brain-sharpening activities. And to the very last group of indifferent students, it is just another day in the educational system.

    Yet, as a student, there’s something you just can’t put away – you are going to return to the picture-perfect classroom someday. And what would matter then is how well-prepared you are for the new tantrums of a rushed-up school calendar.

    So, what do you do about this? How do you study more and wait for your exodus from this holiday-causing pandemic? We have arranged some helpful tips which you will be interested in.

    1. Nothing beats a good study plan - know you’ve heard it before, but one extra time wouldn’t reduce your test scores – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

    • You may have found yourself procrastinating a lot in your studies. The truth is, you want to get your butt to a chair and study for long hours, but there just seems to be a lot of time. So much time that you never get to study at all. That is precisely why you need a study plan. 
    • But, a good study plan describes what courses you will be studying and the time in which you’d be studying them. It allows you to have fun while having a powerful weapon for when it’s time to get book-serious.  
    • The study plan is not exactly different from a timetable/schedule. It simplifies the task of knowing what you want to study without spending an extra 30 minutes thinking about it. 
    • For example, a student majoring in sciences could give 2hrs to studying specific areas of a single course on Monday. One hour could go into answering past questions and strengthening their understanding of those concepts. Tuesday could have a repeat of the same process, only this time, it’s a different course. And on Wednesday, you could review Monday’s notes for a concrete understanding of already studied concepts. It goes on and on. 
    • A study plan, you know what you should be doing, which makes it a whole lot easier.

    Related article: How to create a study plan for kids

    2. Chase away the little foxes building dens at your backyard

    • With a good study plan, it’s impossible not to be distracted even for a small moment in this period. From social media to eyes-widening TV series, all spread available for your stealing. 
    • Little foxes of distraction will always find a way to show up before you study, during your study time, or even when you are making your study plan. They exist to make you distracted, after all. The only remedy to these sneaky, cunning, and fast animals is: tightening up your discipline.  
    • Do you handle that in this period? Let me tell you. It’s straightforward. 
    • A small book and put down your study goals. Do you want to be an accounting guru before three weeks are over? Put it down in your book. Do you want to impress old friends with your new-found formulas for everyday math problems? Put it down.   
    • Have a small book containing your study goals. The only rules here are to be specific about what you want and when you want them. 
    • You study, take a look at those goals. Do the same thing after you study, every day. It will help keep your mind in the bigger picture. You will always study with those goals in mind. That’s a big boost in enthusiasm. 
    • Better, you are more enabled mentally to say no to things that disturb you from reaching those goals – yes, the foxes of distraction

    3. Productivity Apps have never been more helpful 

    • You are using Brilliant.org to boost your innate genius, or ULearn to become more book smart, your brain always has a fanciful jamboree in praise of your efforts. Those apps do an excellent job of pushing you to learn. 
    • There’s more. 
    • Agree that one of the best distractions to studying is your phones and handheld devices. Since most of your time is (and will be) spent on those attractive objects, why not turn them into a useful study tool?   
    • An app like the Pomodoro timer is one that could enhance your study focus to a whole new level. I’ve used it almost whenever I need to study, and it has never failed.   
    • Does the Pomodoro timer work?
    • Just like the other tips above, using the Pomodoro timer is simple.
    • What you need to do is break your study into sets of 25 minutes. After which you take a 5 minutes’ break. 
    • I want to read a book on the taxonomy of living things. As a biologist, using the Pomodoro, I would study for 25 full minutes non-stop. After which I’d take 5 minutes to break just to relax. After this small break, I’d go on to continue with the whatnots of taxonomy. 
    • could ignore the mid-breaks, as long as you don’t get tired too soon and begin to lose focus.
    • Pomodoro helps you concentrate on the task at hand for a considerably small-time until you’ve built study discipline.   
    • One good thing about Pomodoro is you could use your phone’s inbuilt timer for executing this study method – no extra apps.

    To explore more apps, especially for learning languages, check out this article.

    4. Don’t Jump – only Walk

    • Have you heard of the imaginary land where people are only allowed to walk but never to jump? I guess you haven’t. I told you it is imaginary. 
    • I am trying to say: be consistent. Don’t follow your study plan on a Tuesday, and excuse yourself for some noodles on a Thursday. That’s how things get messed up, and your goals become fiction. 
    • Consistent with your study plan allows you to reap the full benefits of studying. It enables you to get to your goals even faster. It gives you a superhuman feeling because you’ve conquered the little foxes of distraction. 
    • It's like showing up at the gym every day because you want bigger arms. When you are consistent with your studying, it’s your brain muscles that get bigger. 

    5. Learn to give yourself breaks

    • Sounds completely counterintuitive, right? 
    • Everyone knows those times when we are particularly enthusiastic about a goal, so much that time flies past without our notice. And we look up and be like, “Ah, it’s already X time.” 
    • Good! However, the curve of productivity begins to turn downwards when we stay for too long. The same thing happens when you study. Economists call it the law of diminishing returns. 
    • Have noticed this yourself. After about 3-4 hours of straight studying, you begin to notice a decline in your comprehension.
    • Your brain’s way of saying, “I need a break!”
    • Learn to say yes to your brain at times like this. Spending longer hours would continually make you tired and reduce your enthusiasm, especially when next you want to study. 
    • The best tip to solve this would be giving yourself realistic goals. Don’t go too overboard and don’t go too under. Always keep a balance. That way, you don’t end up having poor results after weeks of long hours studying. 

    What do you think of those five tips on how to study during this COVID-19 period? Does any sound like something you could try immediately?

    Either way, it’s great you could read to this point. Try to keep safe and #stayhome. Best Wishes.

    You may also want to check out some effective ways on how to increase your productivity using technology.

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