Yes, you read the title correctly. Are you reading this thinking enjoyment and studying are not two closely related things? Do you procrastinate to avoid studying simply because you hate doing it? In reality, there are ways to have the desire to get up and do school work even if you’re not a fan of academics. All you need is the determination that you will find a method that works for you- even students who like studying and revision have a way of motivating themselves. Once you find a way to do this, the rest will follow and studying will not seem as bad as you thought, trust me!
First of all, the greatest myth when it comes to studying is that achieving success means painful long study sessions and sacrificing your own hobbies. When you think of revising for an exam, do you picture a plethora of boring relentless hours staring at a textbook? Do you believe this is how you achieve? Wrong. 30 minutes of concise active recall is so much more beneficial than 3 hours of reading. Then, you don’t have to sacrifice your hobbies, because you can balance them with school. You can even use this as a way to motivate yourself, as free time becomes the reward at the end.
Humans often do more to avoid pain than to gain pleasure. So instead of thinking “I have to write an essay”, think “I get to write an essay.” You can learn to enjoy studying by tricking your brain into thinking you want to do it. Or by associating it with something pleasurable, like listening to your favourite song when you begin or getting to eat your favourite snack. I have found that I want to study by imagining the pain I am avoiding by completing the work. It is also really satisfying for me to picture a completed essay or pack of flashcards that I’ve finished writing. I’ve found that mind association also works with other things I sometimes procrastinate from doing and so I think it works for anything!
I’ve found that by knowing exactly what I’m doing for a specified amount of time motivates me to work. Here’s how I do it:
Finally, imagine the final result. Imagine the pain you will avoid by not avoiding revision. When you think of wanting to give up or going to procrastinate, imagine the pain this may cause in the long-term. However, ALWAYS put your mental health first and don’t burn yourself out- studying is not the most important thing in your life and you shouldn’t sacrifice your mental wellbeing for it. My advice is purely for times when you feel capable of pushing yourself to study and revise, not when you may need help. It is crucial that you speak to your teachers if you feel overwhelmed by workload- they are here to help and will help you manage them. If not, you can always speak to us at TWE, a friend or a trusted adult about how to cope with school.
For managing your time better, I recommend the Pomodoro tomato timer which allows you to work on a loop, with 25 minutes study time and 5-minute breaks in between. After you’ve done one loop you also get a 15-minute break!
YoungMinds is a specific website to help with mental health and can provide you with support during stressful exam seasons or just generally in school. https://youngminds.org.uk/
Use childline if you feel you need to speak to someone about issues regarding your mental health or if you feel you are in trouble. https://www.childline.org.uk/
In my articles, I aim to offer less generic advice that I wish I would’ve known earlier and I hope that it can help others in some way.