Graduate school is no walk in the park (not that I was expecting it to be). That being said, I actually find myself studying less than I did in undergrad. It’s not that I’m not dedicated, it’s just that graduate school is…different. With that, here are the best study habits I’ve learned since starting at LSE.
1. Study snacks
I’d say I’m kidding, but I’m really not. Make sure you have good snacks at hand. You never know when you’ll get sucked into something really interesting and next thing you realise it’s almost 8 at night, you’ve been on campus for 10 hours, and you still have to go home and make dinner (….not that I’ve ever done that, of course).
I don’t mean compartmentalise in the mental state of the word. I mean it in the physical state. Seriously, do not study on, against, or near your bed. This was a big issue I had in university, and I found it messed with my sleeping. Having physically different spots to do your studying and do your relaxing helps turn your brain off when needed.
I’ve always been a big proponent of lists, and using them for studying is no exception. Whether it’s a list of what you have to do, questions/concerns about your classes, or ideas for papers, lists help you organise your thoughts.
In college, I was more of a solo studier. Studying with friends, I’ve found out, can be so much better (as long as you don’t get too distracted talking with each other). You can bounce ideas off of one another, and discussing difficult concepts makes it easier to understand them. As a bonus, friends tend to recognise when you need a break.
5. Recognise when you need a break
In that vein, and I’m sure I’ve said this before, take breaks when you need them. You are no use when you’re exhausted.