The reality is that the majority of students these days dislike studying.
Although the academic year appears to be extensive, students are often surprised when the exam schedule is revealed. Students who haven’t spent time on their academic activities experience depression and anxiety as a result of this.
Then they try to cram everything in before examinations and exams in order to pass, which rarely works. There is, however, always a way out! I discussed in this essay;
- Influence of depression on study ability
- Overcoming distractions while studying
- Focusing and concentrating while studying
- Improving focus and concentration while studying
Influence of depression on study ability
Depression affects the body, soul and mind, meaning a depressed person will find it difficult to focus their eyes and mind on what they are reading. This is because the cognitive ability meant to process what the eyes see is used to process depressing thoughts
Anxiety and depression are already a pandemic among college students.
An article published by the University of Michigan analysed college students’ anxiety and depression levels. It was observed that 47% of students are depressed, owing to addictive use of social media, sleep deprivation, poor eating habits, etc.
The 5-powerful tips guaranteed to improve your academic performance elaborate more on this.
Does depression affect your ability to study? Yes. Can you study effectively if depressed? No.
What to do when depressed and want to study
- See a doctor or counsellor
- Exercise, walk or run
- Get a study partner
- Form a reading time-table
- Read easy to understand books/materials
- Read hard copy instead of reading on your phone
- Reduce screen time
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Overcoming distractions while studying
Reading is an act of visualising written words or symbols and getting to understand them through our cognitive ability.
This definition proves that studying depends mainly on two parts of the human body: the eyes used for visuals and the mind used for cognitive reasoning.
The two types of distraction are visual distraction and cognitive distraction.
Visual distraction: occurs when you take your eyes off the book, while cognitive distraction happens when you take your mind off the book.
So, visual distraction is the most common because once you shift your eye away from the material being studied, you are already distracted.
Cognitive distraction occurs when you intentionally take your mind away from the book. Even though many factors like family & friends, hunger, noise, music, and anxiety causes distraction, social media has proven to be the biggest distraction for students.
Students read study materials on their phones these days, and in doing so, social media notifications cause lots of visual distractions.
If you just left social media before studying, your cognitive concentration will likely be impaired.
How do you overcome distractions while studying?
- Put your phone on silence while studying.
- Play some cool music to balance the environment’s noise. Repeating the same song works well.
- If you must study on your phone, put off all email and social media notifications
- Read more hard copy materials
- Study in a calm and noiseless environment
- Read fast – reading fast keeps your mind and eyes focused
- Jot down random thoughts for later and keep studying
- Jot down points to google, and google later
- Eat before studying.
Focusing and concentrating while studying
Concentration is essential when studying, whether you’re studying to pass an exam or garner knowledge.
However, lack of concentration is a big problem among students. Aside from the factors that cause distractions, as discussed in the last paragraph, there is strong evidence that some humans suffer from underlining health issues that make focus and concentration extremely difficult.
A Healthline article published that some humans suffer from focusing and concentration because of underlining health issues like;
- ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)
- Cognitive dysfunction or impairment
- Untreated mental health concerns
- Concussions and other head injuries
- Farsightedness and other vision problems
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Improving focus and concentration while studying
You must become intentional about your focus and concentration level when you study.
Students must be able to concentrate for long hours as they take different courses taught by different professors and long hours.
So, a student with a low concentration and focus might fail at the end of the day and start looking for ways to escape an extra year and graduate with your set.
Even people who won’t be graded also need to improve their concentration and focus levels because to garner knowledge through books, you need to be able to read without losing focus.
How do you improve focus and concentration while studying?
- Exercise your brain by reading vocabulary
- Play card games when you’re tired
- Play number games
- Decide on a study time and location
- Disconnect from electronics while studying
- If possible, keep your phone away from your study location
- Create a study routine
- Reward yourself for following through with your routine
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