Life + Arts

Advice: Shake up your old studying habits

Bryan, I have been studying for almost two years now and I am starting to become unmotivated to study, what would you recommend to help keep me inspired to sit down and actually learn?

Losing Steam

Dear Losing Steam,

Studying is all about interpreting information and finding a way to retain it. As far as being motivated to study, it’s all about having the willingness and patience to get through it.

We all have our studying woes and there’s no denying that. Trying to prepare for a big test over a subject that you’re not too enthusiastic about can be exhausting and, dare I say it — boring.

However, there are some remedies and believe it or not, making studying a fun experience is possible. Here are a few tips to get you motivated.

One good way is to set up goals and rewards. Once you reach a certain goal you’ve set, give yourself some type of reward. If you’re studying through a bunch of notes or you’re reading through a long chapter in a textbook, set some checkpoints in between pages and use them as your goals.

For example, maybe reading through the first 10 pages merits one chocolate chip cookie and then another for the next 10 pages. You could also block yourself from social networking sites until you get through an entire chapter. Once your reading is finished, allow yourself 10 to 15 minutes of surfing the web to clear your mind.

Don’t forget to reward yourself after you’ve taken the test, too — after all, what’s hard work without a little fun afterward?

Sometimes studying alone doesn’t really cut it, either. Sure, a quiet place can seem like a great way to go about studying, but for some people, there are times when daydreams and heavy eyes waste their study time.

In order to keep yourself attentive and motivated, studying with your classmates is the way to go. Connect with other people and schedule study sessions with your classmates.

Nine times out of 10, your connection with them will not only build new friendships, but you will land an opportunity to create study groups.

Not only will you and your friends be able to hang together during these sessions, you will also be able to brainstorm, quiz one another and help each other before test day. However, be careful. It’s really easy for study groups to get side-tracked during a study session and end up not studying at all. It’s important to keep you and your group busy during these dire hours of preparation.

A few small tips to remember: Make flashcards. Index cards and highlighters are your friends.

Sometimes studying becomes fun when you get creative and use new ways to interpret the material.

Make a song or write a poem that will help you remember the most difficult part of the subject.

Most importantly, remember to reward yourself every now and then for working hard because studying can be an overwhelming task.

There are many other ways to keep yourself motivated to study but people work in different ways. Try all of these methods out and see which ones work best for you.

Good luck,



Leave a Comment