Thursday, March 16, 2006

Are you kidding me?

OK, so you are studying for your Biology finals. You have your books open, your notes out, the beats are pumping, 24 is on TV, John and Christy are talking to you on MSN Messenger, and you're sprawled across your couch, that wobbly coffee table and some dusty mugs.

So what are you doing? Oh you say you're "studying"? Lies!!

This reminds me of a book Judge Judy wrote: Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining. Yes, this is a real book.

I can't believe all these people that think that this is even close to studying. I can't believe that I sometimes think this is studying. There are so many things I want to say about this, I don't even know where to start...

Distractions and Your Learning Curve

I'm sure we've all had this: You start studying and things are going sort of slowly. After a little while, you get into a groove and you are learning really effectively. Some time passes, then you notice your attention is starting to wane, you start to get restless, and you eventually just stop studying. That's basically the learning curve. However, if you are constantly distracted by Jay-Z, Jack Bauer and sweet sweet Christy from Linguistics, you are never going to get to that effective learning stage.

Don't lie to yourself!! If you aren't learning with all these distractions, then do something about it! Turn off those "phat beats", move away from the TV and log off of MSN Messenger (appear offline doesn't count).

I have to point out that some people work quite well with music. You'll have to be your own judge though. And be serious with yourself, if you get more done without music, you probably work better without music. Duh.

MSN Messenger

OK, some people are thinking: "Oh what if someone has to tell me something, I should stay on MSN." No, you shouldn't. a) If they are telling you something over MSN, it probably isn't an emergency. b) You have a phone. c) When's the last time something important was discussed on MSN Messenger? Probably not for a while.

Your Studying Area

I'm not going to go into a spiel about ergonomics or lighting. I will, however, remind you to become aware of your study habits. If you study on your bed and always wake up on top of your chemistry homework wondering why instead of reactions you have only a puddle of drool, then maybe you shouldn't work on your bed.

If there are always suspicious thumping sounds coming from your wall, either tell your housemate and his/her "guest" to shut up, or go to the library.

I'm fully aware that this isn't complicated stuff. Many people might have already thought about this before. Far less have done something about it.

Frankly you could just keep doing the same things you've always been doing, but then you should expect the same results. Don't come crying to me when you get 43%. "But I studied for a whole week! How did I do so craptastically?" Did you study effectively for a whole week? Or did you just study Johnny Depp's bum (with some chemistry interspersed)?

If that sounds really bad or really familiar, it's time for a change.

This is serious stuff. Only you can really change yourself. Only you are responsible for that change.

Once you have come to terms with that, all you can do is succeed.

I hope people don't think I'm saying you shouldn't relax ever. I'm saying when you are studying, study hard. When you relax, just relax.

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