Planning Your Study Time…
…by Ajoke / from Nigeria / Master of Public Health (online) / 2nd Year
Making good grades, and making the best out of an opportunity to be in school, does not happen without good strategies and proper planning. Of course it is impossible to spend the 24 hours of a day studying and doing assignments, especially because there are other things to be done in a day, and nobody wants to burn out in the process of trying to be a good student. Using myself as an example, I go to work from 8am to 4pm on week days, have to do house chores, attend to friends and family, have my personal time, and also have my social or play time, all which could distract me from studying if I am not strategic enough to plan my day.
I was so excited to begin my Master of Public Health (MPH) program in September 2019 as an online student at the University of Edinburgh. It had been 8 years since I completed my undergraduate degree so it was important for me to make adjustments that would help me get back into school girl mode, and also embrace another phase of academic life that I’ve always looked forward to. Surprisingly this was actually quite tricky.
My first year in the MPH program was a year I would always remember. This is because although I put in so much effort, and was determined to make the best of it, I didn’t have such a great strategy to manage my time, so I was not as productive as I thought I would be; I did not have a ‘Study Time’. I would study at any random time, and sometimes study the whole day, without giving myself time to engage in other activities or take a break from school work, which sometimes made me burn out. This was not good for my mental health, and like the saying goes, all work and no play makes jack a dull boy. Hence the lesson I learnt from my first year MPH program is to have a ‘Study Time’.
Since I commenced my 2nd year MPH program, I’ve set aside a daily study time to ensure I’m able to focus on my course work, engage in my group activities, and cover my weekly readings without getting distracted. Having a study time helps me plan; it also keeps me in the study mood and helps me maintain my mental health; I realize that I achieve a lot more when I study during my study time. One of the things I do is put my phone away from me during my study time, and practice deep work, where all I do is focus on whatever I’m studying. Having a study time really helps to avoid distractions, and makes a student disciplined when it comes to studying.
Excelling in academic work definitely requires some form of hard work and discipline, having a study time is one way to be disciplined as a good student, but there are definitely other strategies that can be helpful in attaining success as a student. Having a study time has worked for me, what works for you?