Studying in quarantine

The world seems to stand still, and many people are taking this as an opportunity to self-develop, learn and discover. At the same time, some of us are just trying to pass the last exams with no possibility of going to lectures or to the library anymore. At home, not all of us have access to a study room. While for some, their home is the ideal environment, some might have to readjust and find fresh motivation.

The following five tips hopefully won’t only help you pass your exams during the Corona crisis but will also be useful in the future.

1. Did you know that …?

When facing huge amounts of information, surrounded by scripts and various open tabs and pdfs, it can be hard to prioritize or even organize the several topics one must study. After going through everything, one piece at a time, it can be helpful to step back and find one thing worthy to tell a friend. You can bring it up in the next conversation when you share your study progress. It’s also a great method to find the most interesting fact for yourself to keep in mind when studying details that don’t necessarily fascinate you. It’s about learning something new and practical that brings you further, not just learning things by heart.

2. The old-fashioned way, use your pen and paper.

Admittedly, much of studying has been switched to digital, which can bring new benefits. One doesn’t have to carry ten books at once and it’s practical to have all your notes and lecture presentations on one device. However, it is proven to be beneficial to write summaries and notes by hand. Even if you prefer using your favourite electronic device, try to create mind-maps to visualize a topic and rewrite complicatedly expressed definitions. Find a system of colours, experiment with new layouts and even draw some symbols to make it look more aesthetic. If you like looking at your notes, you might even like studying them.

3. Why though?

You chose your program for a reason. It might be something you’re curious about, something you’ve always wanted to study, or just something that makes you feel productive until you find what you’re ultimately interested in. Even if you have already found your dream studies, there might be subjects that are harder to understand. Keep the big picture in mind, and that this is temporary. Quarantine will not determine our daily routine forever. But during this time, find the reasons for you attending JU and what you personally want to learn from it. If you have a hard time completing a class, try to find one reason why it might be useful. With that determination in mind, surely your effort won’t be in vain.

4. Communication is key.

Taking online classes doesn’t have to be impersonal. On the contrary, it is advisable to stay in touch with your colleagues. You can try to look them up on social media and approach them. Ask them how they manage their studies and get to know them. Stay in touch with your professors, too. Send them an e-mail whenever you have a question or need advice. Participate in the lectures on zoom and be as active as possible. Not only is this a feedback they will appreciate, but it will also help you understand their guidelines and clear up potentially misleading texts.

5. Do your research.

You might be surprised how many podcasts, documentaries and educational videos you can find about the exact topic you’re studying. Take one or two hours to look it up and find new angles through that input. Your group discussions will get more interesting, as you’ll have a broader spectrum of arguments. You will also find new approaches to subjects, which you can mention to your professors. For the visual and auditive learning types, this is a way to repeat what you’ve learned from course materials.

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