As the end-of-year exams in Arab universities approach, students are busy now studying at home now after a year of studying on campus.
To help students reap the greatest possible benefit from their academic year, Al-Fanar Media presents some tips from university and career professionals to help all students, regardless of their majors, maximise their study outcome.
The website of Washington State University, in the United States, observes that when studying at home, you will need greater willpower than usual to stay focused. Following are some of its tips for getting motivated and staying motivated.
1. Structure your study space. Set a specific space for study at home. Without one, it is hard to get the most out of your study time. The space does not have to be a separate room; a well-equipped desk will suffice. But it should be away from distractions such as television or places where other family members may gather for conversations. You should also avoid studying on your bed.
“Set a specific space for study at home. The space does not have to be a separate room; a well-equipped desk will suffice. But it should be away from distractions such as television or places where other family members may gather for conversations.”
2. Establish a daily routine. Set regular times for waking up, having your meals, and other activities of daily life, as well as separate hours for study. Keeping a daily schedule helps stimulate and alert your brain that it is time to study. This will ensure your ability to get the highest degree of concentration and mental efficiency. Don’t forget to schedule time for breaks when you can move around or rest, to revitalise your body and rejuvenate your mental energy.
3. Don’t neglect social time. Communicating with friends and family members is just as important as study itself. Setting aside some social time motivates you to stay focused on a high level during your study time. So stay in touch with friends and relatives, via phone calls, texts, or meeting up online or in real life.
4. Set a series of short-term goals. Divide what you want to study into a few short segments. This can help you stick to your goals, make achieving them less stressful, and strongly motivate you to continue creating more short-term plans. Sharing your plans with your friends may provide a greater motivation to complete them.
5. Avoid multi-tasking. It may seem like focusing on doing only one thing at a time will make you less productive overall, but compartmentalizing your day will keep your energy in good condition for managing your time in a positive way. So distribute your academic, home, sport, and social duties over the day, and do not fall prey to a desire to finish everything quickly.
Breaks Are Essential
In order to boost your efficiency while studying at home, Maryville University, a private institution near St. Louis, Missouri, recommends taking breaks from study for activities that help you regain focus. Following are some examples it suggests:
1. Go for a quick walk outside or around your place. You could also meditate, watch part of a favorite show, or read a few pages from an interesting book.
“Save time for breaks during your study hours, for activities that revitalise your mind and help you regain focus. Or reach for healthy snack. Foods that boost your brain include almonds and walnuts, dark chocolate, and certain fruits and berries.”
2. Take a 10-minute nap. Short naps stimulate memory and cognitive performance and make you complete your activity while you feel refreshed. Other revitalising activities include yoga or cycling.
3. Enjoy a cup of coffee. Treating yourself to a cup of tea or coffee helps enhance brain function and improve your mood.
4. Have a healthy snack. Healthy foods that boost your brain include almonds and walnuts, dark chocolate, and fruits and berries high in anthocyanins, compounds that may increase blood flow to the brain and improve mental performance. The latter include blueberries, blackberries, grapes, apples and plums.
5. Tidy up your study space. It’s hard to study when you’re surrounded by clutter. So get rid empty utensils, put away untidy clothes, and remove any similar items that may give you unnecessary, negative energy.
Benefits of Studying at Home
Prospects, a British website specializing in graduate career options, notes there are also benefits a university student can achieve from studying at home. Here are several of them:
1. You can study at your own pace. During the academic year, you do not have the freedom to choose the part of the course you want to study, because of your constant attachment to lectures dates, or the need to submit research papers and sit for exams. At home, you can determine your own pace, such as allocating time according to your discretion for each part of the curriculum.
“Studying at home allows you to choose the best and most appropriate time for you, in contrast to the difficulties you face in finding studying time at your university on days crammed with classes and other required activities.
2. You can choose the best time. Studying at home allows you to choose the best and most appropriate time for you, in contrast to the difficulties you face in finding study time at your university on days crammed with classes and other required activities.
3. You will have fewer distractions. Studying at home enables a higher level of concentration, as you won’t be distracted by campus sounds that may cause your attention to wander.
4. You will save money and time. Studying at home, as you will avoid the expense of buying takeaway coffee or on-campus launches. You will also save the time you spend traveling to the university, or waiting for a service in the university library, especially if an alternative is available at home.
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