Studying can be a difficult task. You can do everything right, including buying yourself treats, carefully planning your time, ensuring your room is well-ventilated, and having your chair properly adjusted for your back, and still feel like you’re counting down the days until the end of this study period, or until you leave school, or – quite possibly – until you retire. So, here’s the question: how can you make studying not just bearable, but also enjoyable? This is a talent that many people develop only after they enter university and begin studying a subject that they are passionate about.When you’re still studying subjects you don’t like and wish you’d never have to study again, you have to enjoy yourself in spite of the subject, not because of it. You might grow to like the courses you despise now one day, but it’s unlikely to happen while you’re preparing for exams. Here are some of our favourite methods to have fun while studying, no matter what subject you’re studying.
1. Listen to good music
This is a tried-and-true study strategy for a reason: everything is more enjoyable when it’s put to music you enjoy. Others people have the ability to concentrate even when listening to songs with difficult and intriguing lyrics; some even have the ability to complete an essay while singing along. It’s probably worth thinking about whether you’re one of those people before you immediately go for your favourite music. Be careful; you don’t want to wind up writing anything like, “The importance of this soliloquy in Hamlet is that it indicates how Ophelia has gone from the other side, I must have called a thousand times…” Even if you aren’t aware that your music choice is distracting you, skipping a song that irritates you or spending time on social media can help.
However, if you can make this advice work, it will be quite beneficial. For the most part, music without lyrics is preferable. That doesn’t have to be Mozart — movie soundtracks may be entertaining and motivating, and you can believe you’re in a training montage while studying. A solid soundtrack also lasts a long time, decreasing the amount of time you’ll have to spend locating the perfect tune.
2. Turn it into a game for yourself
We’ve previously discussed how to gamify your studies, but it’s worth reiterating because, when done correctly, it can be really beneficial. Puzzles, quizzes, and flashcards are all study aids that take advantage of the fact that we learn better and are more motivated when we play games. Have you ever spent hours on Sporcle trying to obtain perfect grades while the task you’re supposed to be doing goes unattended? Then you’ll understand how breaking something down into a measurable and reachable goal makes it a lot more enjoyable.
The type of game you make will be determined by your hobbies and subject matter; for example, history lends itself better to a lengthy 4-hour board game than statistics, where you might instead apply what you’ve learned to real-world events like sports. It may take longer to come up with a game than it does to play the game, but as long as you’re engaged with your subject and going over what you need to learn as you go, it’ll be worthwhile.
3. Turn it into a game with others
It’s a bit of a minefield studying with friends. It can be inspiring and beneficial since you can discuss ideas that you might not have considered on your own. Or you could end up having so much fun that you don’t get much homework done.
Turning studying into a game with friends might well be the ideal method to combine learning and enjoyment for the maximum amount of both if you can make it work (possibly if you have one very rigorous friend in the group who keeps you all on track). “Invent a game and play it with your friends” is a prescription for waste far more time than doing the same thing alone, so keep it basic.
One option is to use quizzes and treasure hunts (where you obtain the next clue once you’ve worked out the solution to an exam question). If you’re looking for a more difficult game, try a study-themed truth or dare, in which your pals ask you adequately difficult questions for the ‘truth,’ and if you can’t respond – or get the answer wrong – you must undertake a dare. Simply ensure that the dare does not appear to be a more convenient alternative than attempting to correctly answer the question. Set study-related challenges; for example, in English literature, if you can’t come up with a quote to support a particular argument for the truth, you must write two paragraphs centred around that point.
4. Use nice stationery
Are you a fan of stationery? If browsing in Paperchase seems more interesting than browsing in Topshop; if the delight of shopping in Paperchase seems more appealing than shopping in Topshop; if the delight of shopping in Topshop seems less appealing than the delight of shopping in Paperchase; if the delight of shopping in Topshop seems
If you have more blank notebooks for use on some future special occasion than filled notebooks that weren’t quite exceptional enough to save, August is the time to get new materials for September.
If you have a desk full of beautiful pens, pencils, notepaper, notebooks, stickers, and who knows what more, now is the time to put them to good use and enjoy them. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, write with a nice fountain pen; it’s not a good idea to use it on the exam, but forcing yourself to slow down a little when taking notes when studying can help the information sink in better. If you use stickers to cover your notes, you’ll be more likely to revisit them. Why bother accumulating excellent stationery in the first place if it’s not going to be used when you have crucial studying to do?
5. Try role play
One method to get your head around any subject with tales and characters – Theatre Studies, English Literature, and History are obvious examples – is to pretend to be one of the characters and roleplay as them for a while. What do you think Henry VIII would eat for lunch? What would Marianne from Sense and Sensibility do with your living room? Would Othello be pleased or upset if he was abruptly placed into your body?
6. Challenge yourself
It’s important to pace yourself during studying, just as it is when working out at the gym. Don’t demoralise yourself by taking on more than you can do; instead, take things slowly and steadily, taking regular breaks to ensure you can endure the long haul.
Isn’t that, however, extremely boring?
It’s not a good idea to push yourself to do stupid things in the gym because you risk long-term harm. But you’re not going to shatter your brain trying to perform something a little too difficult. If you’re bored to tears going over the same notes and ideas – but you have to study them, so you’re stuck with them – find motivation by turning it into a competition. You may test yourself on how quickly you can compose a two-page essay or answer a Math problem in three-quarters of the time allotted. Don’t make the challenge insurmountable, but making your studying difficult enough to need correct brain engagement can be beneficial.
7. Write comics, short stories or songs
There are countless tunes that may have been written to assist you in your studies. Consider the Elements song by Tom Lehrer or Flanders and Swann’s First and Second Law. Not only through the finished product, but also through the process of writing your poetry or song in the first place, putting something into rhyme or setting it to music aids much in remembering it.
If songs aren’t your thing, try something different like creating a cartoon or writing a novel. This might be a comic that depicts a certain historical incident or a story whose conclusion is based on a specific physics concept. You’ll have made a valuable study tool and had fun doing it if you include some puns and wordplay on difficult subjects to make them simpler to recall.
8. Intersperse studying with other activities
If, despite all of the above, you’re having trouble making studying enjoyable, you can at least make a portion of your day enjoyable when you’re studying. To keep your studying marathon from becoming overwhelming, load up some episodes of your favourite TV show, figure out how to break down your favourite pastime into manageable portions, or plan a quick catch-up with some pals.
Even if it comes easy to you, studying and doing your best to find a subject that interests you is hard work, so remember to take breaks to replenish yourself. Determine what length of break works best for you: some people prefer a half-hour break, while others prefer a longer study period and a full hour’s rest. Others find it difficult to return to studying after even half an hour since it is too much for them. Examine what works best for you, and don’t do things a certain way just because it appears to work for your friends.
9. Feel free to be ridiculous
The high-pressure period of preparation for examinations has relatively few advantages. One of them should be that you can be foolish whenever you want. You’re already looking stupid if you’re running around the home singing Chemistry songs while pretending to be Henry VIII, so don’t worry about it. Finally, if instructing a sock puppet on the beliefs of major world religions or eating nothing but Brie for lunch helps you focus better on the French language, go ahead and do it.