Admittedly, studying for midterms has become a little bit trickier this semester. Last weekend, the province of Ontario issued public health measures to restrict coffee shops, bars and restaurants to outdoor dining. Specifically for me, coffee shops have been a helpful place to study and review material for classes.
Even so, I’ve developed some useful strategies for studying that don’t require breaking social distancing rules.
1. Schedule Zoom Study Sessions
The great part about studying in library is that you can do so in the company of your friends and peers and make progress together. Unfortunately, studying in the library has become really difficult in COVID-19. Even so, there are still ways to study socially.
One thing that has helped me immensely is scheduling zoom study sessions with my friends in each of the classes that I’m taking. Not only does it keep me accountable and force me to actually study material for my classes, but it is helpful to gain the wisdom and expertise from my friends and fellow classmates. There’s a huge difference between studying alone and studying in company and both are essential aspects of academic success.
2. Take Regular Breaks
All study and no play makes for a very dull Grace. This is an idiom that I personally know to be true. I’ve tried studying for hours straight without breaks and it usually ends with my feeling discouraged and being just as confused about the study material as when I started.
Instead of studying non-stop, I prefer studying in fifty minute intervals, then taking a break. Taking a break doesn’t have to be elaborate or stress-inducing either. It may simply look like: baking some cookies, listening to music, chatting with a roommate, etc.
The benefits of taking regular breaks has also been confirmed by science. A 2011 experiment by the University of Illinois discovered that those who studied without breaks were less likely to maintain focus throughout the overall duration of their study.
3. Go For Walks Around The City
The gym in my residence recently closed down as a result of the new measures implemented by Ontario’s government. While I am in full support of preventing the spread of COVID-19, I’ve also noticed that I am much less active on a daily basis as a result of my gym’s closing.
As a way of keeping my mind sharp and staying active, I’ve set a goal to take a 30-minute to 1-hour walk three weekdays per week and every day of the weekend. This goal has not only helped get my heart pumping more, but it’s also given me a new opportunity to get to know the streets of Toronto. I’ve realized how many beautiful pieces of graffiti there are and have gotten lost in more than one gorgeous Toronto parks. If I’d never taken a break and set out for a stroll, I’d never have gotten the opportunity to get acquainted with many of these beautiful spots of Toronto.