We all have been through times when no matter how close our exams are, we simply haven't been motivated to study. Either that’s because of a subject that instantly makes us fall asleep, or because of a topic that is too complicated to even make an effort for. We often struggle with being interested in topics that are seemingly useless in the future. We feel even worse when we look at our thick books and endless notes.
During school and college, you spend most of your time studying. This is why it’s important to ensure that you don't spend most of your childhood feeling bored and cranky. Here are 7 ways that will help you burst through that boredom, and make studying fun!
1. Make creative notes and flashcards
Reading the same notes and books in black and white can get dull and drab. This is why you can use colourful highlighters to mark important concepts in your books. You can also use colourful pens, graphs, and diagrams to make your notes more interesting.
For example, creating a colourful Periodic Table with all mnemonics, on a large sheet of chart paper will not only be a fun exercise but also make revisions more interesting.
2. Compete with your friends
Competition doesn’t always have to be cutthroat. You can organise “study groups” with your friends. Initially, you can start with explaining difficult concepts to each other. This will not only help everyone understand concepts better but also improve your friendship and team-work.
Once you are more comfortable with your study group, all of you can take tests together and discuss where you went wrong. This will help each of you find out more about test-taking techniques, time management, and get a clearer idea of all concepts.
Some edtech apps help you challenge your friends in various chapters. If you do not have access to large question banks, turn to these apps as they have collated questions from leading professors.
3. Reward yourself
Remember that time when your doctor gave you a candy after giving you an injection? Or your mom promised you an ice-cream if you finished your homework? You looked forward to the piece of chocolate, candy, or even a new toy. It motivated you to behave better or finish your healthy dinner or complete your homework.
You can do the same with your studies! Award yourself with a tiny snack when you finish a difficult chapter, on a longer break after scoring well in a test. Use things that you like doing as a reward for doing better in your studies. This will automatically motivate you to put in more effort when the going gets tough, and your performance (and rewards) will improve.
4. Use the power of roleplay
How do you remember the various events that happened during the Indian freedom struggle? How can you accurately remember the various acts of a Shakespeare play? You cant rote learn these things. It’s too much information that you won’t remember in the long run. However, our visual memories are extremely strong and long-term. That’s why you don't forget the stories of movies for years after you first watched them.
When it comes to remembering any story, enact the events in the form of a play. Involve your entire class if you have to. Not only will you know various characters in depth, but you will talk about these plays for years to come!
5. Change your environment
Studying on the same desk in the same room makes you feel boxed in and frustrated. Some studies say that it is good to study at the same time of the day, but you should change your place of study from time to time. You can either switch rooms, go to a library or even a cafe.
If you can study outside - say in a lawn, garden, or terrace, you should definitely step out. Studying outdoors in fresh air will give a big motivational boost. If you are a morning person, try catching the sunrise with a book in one hand.
6. Link what you learn with daily life
When you’re studying projectile motion, think about throwing a ball or a paper rocket. When you’re studying areas of a square or a circle, think about lawns or stadiums. Study various the relationship of acids and bases by understanding why vinegar or lemon juice are used to remove rust.
When you link these concepts to activities you do every day, remembering them becomes much better, and very interesting!
7. Take healthy breaks
Along with studying, it is important to keep doing things you love. Allot some time for your hobby - be it playing a sport, or listening to music, or painting, or dancing, or even reading a novel. Don’t lose track of what you enjoy, and study with discipline until your “break time”. You can even choose to take a longer break as a reward for doing well in your tests!
If you follow these tips, not only will you have a lot of fun, but you will also remember your concepts better. So have fun and start studying!
About the Author:
Manish Kumar graduated from IIT Bombay in 2006 with a degree in Metallurgical and Materials Science. He then pursued masters in Materials Science Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Post his graduation, he joined Indian School Finance Company, where he was part of the core team responsible for business strategies and growth. In 2013, he co-founded SEED Schools, a venture focused on improving quality of low-cost K-12 education in India with a vision to make quality education accessible. He is currently Vice President of Product - Learning & Pedagogy at Toppr.com.