Psychology of Studying

Brian Lee ’24, Staff Writer

 After waking up refreshed, it’s time to study for those tests and quizzes you’ve been putting off. Yet, soon after opening your textbook, your mind begins to feel tired and to wander- imagining your next meal, video game excursion, or nap. These thoughts make it challenging to focus; although you want to do well on your assignments, it’s hard to avoid these distractions. Let’s take a closer look at what’s happening in order to better understand why this takes place and how to combat these common struggles.

 Studying can lead to feelings of fatigue and exhaustion for various reasons, including lack of nourishment, poor study environment, and poor perspective. Our brains only make up two percent of the body, yet they use 20 percent of our energy. The more brain power we use for our mental tasks, the more energy is used. Thus, if you have skipped a meal in favor of extra study time or find yourself reaching for snacks often, you might actually be starving your brain of vital nourishment.

 Additionally, if you are studying while lounging in your bed or listening to loud pop music, you may find your brain associating this with sleep or leisure time. Finally, if you are fearing for the worst with your looming assignments, you could find yourself feeling more demotivated. 

 In order to combat these factors leading to overall poor studying performance, there are some simple changes you can make. Firstly, consuming three balanced meals a day will prevent a lack of nourishment for your brain. Consuming foods and snacks with sage, blueberries, and pumpkin seeds actually further this benefit as they are known to increase memory and concentration in studies. 

 Secondly, studying at a desk or in the library instead of in bed while listening to calm music will help you stay organized and motivated to study. Even if you are worrying about one of your important exams, it is crucial to avoid negative thoughts that can lead to a feeling of disarray. 

 Besides addressing the factors mentioned above, remember to take time for self care and self reflections. Taking sufficient amounts of vitamin C, drinking at least eight glasses of water per day, giving yourself sufficient breaks, and sleeping between seven to nine hours a day will prevent physical illness, keeping you in top shape to continue your studying journey. Best of luck studying, and I’m sure I’ll be seeing you around the library soon.