Studying: Best Practices

This post was originally posted to Preparing for a Career in Healthcare Blog. To see the full post click here

Hello everyone! It is the hard to believe that we have completed three and a half weeks for the year 2019! Where has the time gone?

Despite the year still being one quarter complete, many things have happened. I have set up a Facebook Page, reconfigured my Instagram Account, started the Spring Semester of school, passed two tests, and I have two more tests coming up that I need to study for. Thus, I have taken inspiration for today’s blog post from having to study for school.

Studying comes in many different forms. For my first degree, my time studying was almost entirely spent reading, writing and memorizing. However, I am in school trying to earn a second bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering. This major is an entirely different breed. Engineering is almost entirely math. Studying for math involves more practice and deduction than anything else. But I am getting off topic, so I digress.

Since returning to college there are many things that I have learned about regarding study habits and college success. Below, I have listed out a few major points about studying do’s and don’ts.



1) The Relationship Between Comfort Level and Studying

The more experience I have with successful study, the more evident it has become that there is a correlation between comfort level and studying. In other words, the more comfortable I am, the less productive I am during my studies. To combat this, here are a few things I have found that help tremendously with my productivity during study hours.


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Dress Nicely (Try to Avoid Wearing PJ’s and Athletic Wear)

No, you do not have to wear your fanciest clothing. But you will not be as productive dressed in your PJ’s or athletic gear as you would in regular clothes. Make it a point to wear jean pants or jean shorts and a nice blouse or graphic T-shirt. Another option, is a casual maxi skirt/dress, sun dress, or jean skirt. Since it is cold outside, I usually wear skinny jeans, boots, a fashion T-shirt, and a cardigan/jacket/vest. In the future, I might write a post that includes some of my favorite outfits to wear during my studies. But for now you might be able to find some inspiration on my Pinterest board I’m a Citizen of the World (pay particular attention to the Cozy Section, Casual Date Sectionand the Weekend Section).


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Do not Study on your Bed

I know that I cannot be the only person who is like this, but my bed is my heaven. It is the most comfortable place for me to be. Because it is so comfortable, it is a terrible place for me to study. I am not nearly as productive if I study on my bed as I am when I study at the kitchen/dinning room table or my desk. When I am sitting on my bed, I often time get distracted doing other things. This is not ideal for an environment that needs to promote learning


Better yet, Get out of the House

Being at home makes us comfortable, since comfort level seems to be inversely correlated with productive study.  Therefore, it is probably best that you get out of the house entirely. Where you go does not matter, just get out of the house. I find that cafes are my favorite places to study. But libraries, classrooms, the Math Lab, your Professor’s office are all excellent alternatives to sit and study your material. On Friday’s I go study in my Physic’s classroom and study.  On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, I sit in my Professor’s office and complete Calculus III homework.


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2) Read your Textbook and Write Down Everything!

There is something about writing things down that make concepts much easier to memorize and understand. As you sit and read your textbook, be sure to jot down as many notes about what you are reading. Also, it is very important that you review and rewrite the notes that you have taken while in class. For example, one of the things I do (especially in Physics). I sit and read the book and write down any and every major point and revelation the book gives me. Then you sit and practice the sample problems. Generally, I will try to attempt the sample problem myself, then go back and see what I got wrong (you do not learn a thing by getting everything right). Finally, I will attempt to solve every odd numbered problem at the end of each chapter (these problems have the solutions in the back of the book).



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3) Setting Timers

This subject will most definitely require another post, because it applies to every situation (not just school). Plus, if you have never gotten into the habit of timing yourself, then there are a few things that you might want to know prior to picking this up as a habit. Therefore, I will follow up with a post in the next few weeks regarding this topic.



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4) Finally, Take Breaks and Do No have “Study Marathons.” 

As humans, some of our biggest flaw is thinking that we learn more if we sit for several hours and study the same subject they whole time. This could not be further from the truth. Be sure to take breaks during your studies. During those breaks, be sure to actually get up and do something. There are many things you could do during your breaks, clean your room, clean the kitchen, go for a run/walk, lift weights, spend time working on a hobby, blog and so on. This is why timing yourself with timers are so important, so that you do not get so caught up in studies. Also timers help you time your breaks so that you  do not loose yourself in these hobbies during these breaks.

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The Amazing Power of Organization

Last Saturday, I made the decision to intentionally keep the TV in my bedroom off. It is absolutely amazing the amount of work I was able to accomplish during this time. Between studies, I decided to take on the project of cleaning and organizing my closet.

Roughly 20 years have passed since I have last cleaned and organized my closet. During this time, it has collected clothes that I have not worn nice high school.  Until last Saturday, I was completely unable to walk into my walk-in closet. So taking inspiration from: “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” on Netflix, I began the project of cleaning my closet.

Granted, it has been several weeks since I sat down and watched an episode of “Tidying up with Marie Kondo.” But nevertheless, the “Kondo Method” has helped motivate me to become more organized and tidy up my life. Generally, with projects like this, it is always difficult to know where to begin. Thankfully, Marie Kondo was there to help me (Please forgive the below photos as they are unedited and not staged).

I began my new project by taking absolutely everything out of my closet. I put all my stuff in my bedroom. After this first step, I was absolutely shocked to see the amount of things my tiny walk-in closet could hold. All of this stuff, covered my entire bedroom floor. There was even a huge pile of clothes that came up to my hip. However, I continued with the “Kondo Method” and I was so surprised at how easy it was to finish this project. Despite the overwhelming amount of items, I finished the project the same night.

It is amazing the amount of things that have been hidden in the back of my closet these last 20 years. But of course, there was entirely too much stuff in that little space. At the end of the day, I ended up getting rid of 6 trash bags of clothes and shoes, 4 Tupperware drawers, 73 hangers, 8 empty shoe boxes, and a shoe rack.



This whole project with cleaning my closet has been very inspiring. Here are some of my take aways from this project of cleaning my closet:

1) The importance of saying thank you

When I first watched, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo,” I though it was the oddest thing to say “Thank You” as much as she does. First, she says “thank you” the house prior to cleaning it. Finally, she says “thank you” to all the discarded items prior to throwing them away. However, I practiced this Kondo method as I cleaned my closet. As I did so, I had an epiphany.

In general, it is a good habit to show gratitude.  In a way saying “Thank You” makes a person appear more humble. Although, it seems odd to say “Thank You” to an inanimate object. When practicing the habit of saying “Thank You” to objects, it becomes very easy to let these things go without remorse. It gives a person a sense of finality. Therefore, helps to get rid of any emotional attachment to that object and there is no sense of regret after throwing it away.

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2) I feel so much better (even though it is just my closet)

My closet is such a tiny portion of my room (even my house), that it seams like such a minor thing to feel accomplished about. But, it is more than just a small space. This room was in such a state of disarray for such a long time. Not only do I feel like I reorganized my closet; but I also reorganized a small portion of my life.

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3) Updating my Bedroom seems possible.

There are certain goals/projects that I want to do to update my bedroom. I have been wanting to do this for a very long time. After all it has been a total of 20 years since my bedroom was last updated. Although, the idea of doing this project seemed a little overwhelming and intimidating. I did not know where to start or what to do. This made it feel like it is more tangible.

Now that my closet has been completed, I see better and easier ways to tackle updating my room. It will start with cleaning separate areas of my room. Then it will involve repainting the walls and wood work. After that, I will start investing in nicer/newer furniture, mattress, pillows and bed sheets. Finally, I will need new art on my walls.

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4) I am super productive when I keep the TV off

On Saturday, I woke up and immediately started working on homework and reading my Physics textbook. Of course I took breaks between work, but even during those breaks I intentionally kept the television off. It is absolutely amazing, as I sit and reflect on all the things I did Saturday, the amount of things I was able to accomplish.

While intentionally keeping the TV on Saturday, I was able to accomplish more things than I would have thought. Here is a list of things I accomplished during this time:

  • finished 3/4 of my calculus III homework
  • started a blog
  • created a Facebook page
  • cleaned my closet
  • threw away 6 trash bags of clothes, 73 hangers, 8 empty shoe boxes, organized my photos, and etc.
  • completed reading chapter 3 of my physics textbook

I would highly encourage everyone, at least to spend one day of the week with the TV off. It does not matter if you are a student or not, keep the TV and occupy your time doing other things.

This Post was originally posted on The Chronicles of Kelsey. If you like what you see please leave a comment below and follow this blog. Also, be sure to follow Kelsey on Instagram and Facebook.