How to Study in Times of Stress
This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.
In the unsettling time of the global pandemic, students across Australia are expected to keep studying. But how? In particular, Year 12s are anticipating a year far different from their initial expectations: no carnivals or formals to mark the end of their schooling, and end-of-year celebrations are in doubt. However, it appears that exams and assessments will continue on, although delayed in most states. In this strange and uncertain time, with classes largely online, how can students maximise their studies?
- Take a break. Concentrating for long periods of time on technological devices is much harder than concentrating on in-person classes. Sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods of time is exhausting, both mentally and physically; your eyes and your back in particular can feel the strain. If you’re inclined to sit in front of a computer all day and let the time drift by, make sure you set reminders for yourself to get up, move around a bit, read a book or get yourself a snack. It’s important that you set frequent time away from technology and find some other hobbies while confined to the house.
- Stay in touch with your friends. It has been remarked before that ‘social distancing’ might be better renamed ‘physical distancing’. Humans are, by nature, social, and removing in-person interactions greatly affects most people. Thanks to technology and social media, it’s not difficult to remain in contact with your friends. If you’re feeling particularly lonely, you could aim to schedule in at least one phone call a day with a friend or a family member you can’t see. You can use the time to study together, or unwind and take your mind off studies and the pandemic. Counterintuitively, concentrating on studies one hundred per cent of your time will not help you to achieve your best.
- Set small goals. Now, how many people have told you that Shakespeare wrote a masterpiece during the plague or that Newton discovered gravity under house arrest? Who has groaned reading article headlines boasting of their increased productivity while confined to a home office? The truth is that most people aren’t going to achieve their best work in times of high stress such as right now. The idea that you should be more productive than ever is unnecessary pressure to put on yourself. By setting smaller, achievable goals, you can continue to work on your studies manageably, rather than relying on unfair pressure. Instead of aiming to write a whole English essay, work exclusively on your introduction and conclusion; instead of completing an entire Mathematics practice exam, perfect a particular area of study. Ticking off smaller goals from a checklist gives a sense of accomplishment which can spur you on.
- Seek help if you need it. Being confined indefinitely to the house takes a toll on many people’s mental health, and it’s important to remember that it is normal to be going through a difficult time. Even if you write off your response to the situation as ‘normal’, don’t forget the option of seeking out counselling or psychological help, even if you haven’t accessed these services before.
If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: Academic Benefits of Sports to Students, Benefits of Using Technology in the Classroom and Benefits of Meditation for Students.
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