If you think this is an article on better study habits or a ‘how to’ on studying effectively, then I’m sorry to disappoint. This is basically a guide as how reading through the pandemic has been. Whether you’re a student having online classes, or you’re doing some personal studies or novels during this period, the fact is learning has drastically changed from the norm. So, during this pandemic period, here are a few points I’ve noted on reading and study habits:
1. You are the timetable, the timetable is you.
Most of us have had a fixed schedule or timetable of the lessons we are supposed to have during the day. But what happens when you are now supposed to be your own guide? For those having virtual classes I believe they still have timetables and classes and still have a fixed schedule. For the rest of us, it has been tricky trying to get a fixed schedule to work with. And that is when the realization dawns on you, you are the timetable! Sticking to a schedule is hard work; I guess we now appreciate time table coordinators more?
2. Learning environment is key.
I believe we now realize how difficult it is to maintain a serious study environment. (Kudos to all those who usually study while at home!) I’ve learnt that you need to create your own ‘reading space’ to get the learning environment. Reading on the bed or with the T.V. on is very distracting!
I learnt that the hard way when I kept on watching the same 3 minute video all day without making progress… 3 MINUTE VIDEO! So I learnt to get a table and a chair, and a quiet environment as I study. Kind of lie to my brain that I’m in a classroom, yes?
3. More time is less time.
This is a point that really stood out for me during this pandemic period. It seemed like we were really given a lot more time to get on with what we had always wanted to; books you wanted to read, courses and skills you wanted to gain.
However, it seems like the moment we assume we have more time, that’s when we longer have time. Be it the laxity that comes with knowing ‘I still have more time’ at the back of my mind, or the procrastination nature most of us have. I mean March was just yesterday, and now we are in the last quarter of the year.
So what I’ve learnt is, if there’s something you have always wanted to do, start it now. Don’t think of the time you have left, or haven’t, just do it. Well, at least try. The moment something crosses my mind, I do it. In the long run, I began seeing good results from this method; try it sometime!
4. No pressure.
A bit cliché, but yes, there really is no pressure! It seems like everywhere people are posting their achievements and reading and getting certifications. As much as it would be very nice to achieve all that when the world seems to be on standstill, there is absolutely no hurry.
Taking time in understanding content and internalizing what you learn. There is no gold medal in getting there first, as long as you fully understand what you’re doing.
I certainly felt pressured whenever I was on LinkedIn or Instagram, seeing everyone using this time more effectively and I would criticize myself for not being ‘as serious’ or ‘as disciplined.’ I soon realised, that at my own pace, I am doing my best.
Maintaining my peace, taking some rest, and even thinking of how to go about things, that’s great! Kudos to everyone making major strides out there! For those at a slower pace, kudos to you too! Eventually, time and chance happen to us all.
In a nutshell…
This new change has brought about with it a lot of changes in how we conduct our normal studies. Zoom lessons have also brought their own share of struggles, embarrassments and lessons. But despite it all, we are learning to adapt, and gaining major lessons in self-discipline. I have learnt much about appreciating myself, and pacing myself.
I have definitely had numerous meetings or ‘mikutanos’ that I’ve had to call myself to, just to remind myself that the world took a break so that I could refresh and not bury myself with worry. Think of this article as a small note of acknowledgement of the far you’ve come this year, pat yourself on the back, and work harder.
At the end of this, history books will definitely have an interesting chapter when it comes to 2020. And who knows, this changes may just be here to stay.