Since we started online classes in March due to the lockdown measures in Russia, it has been a long road of creating and getting used to a study schedule that actually works. After the summer break however, with a new school year that started in September I began to be more intentional about my study methods, determined to create the most optimal routine possible.

I started my second year in medical school and the major courses this semester are Anatomy, Histology, Physiology, Biochemistry and Microbiology. There’s probably no hope of going back to school this year, so I’ve decided to share what has been working for me as I try to get used to this system of learning.

Planning: This may seem like such a small detail but making a little to-do-list can make a whole lot of difference in your study routine. Having a definite plan of what I want to do and when saves me so much time and brainpower during the actual studying. I like to plan out what subjects and topics I’d like to study and even which materials I will be using.
Making a physical (paper or digital note) preferably the night before will help you get better sleep and wake up feeling motivated to get things done. I try to ensure that the list isn’t too burdensome or unachievable so I don’t end up feeling overwhelmed and lazy.

Focusing on testable core materials: I’d say it’s quite easy to be deceived into feeling like you’re studying while you’re actually doing nothing productive. We enjoy the feeling of surrounding ourselves with big textbooks while getting distracted from what is truly important and we end up performing poorly.
Personally, I try to use very few study materials, ranging from YouTube tutorials to school-recommended booklets while studying for the first time. I then proceed to using textbooks for a wider idea of the topic if I have more time.

Making the learning process enjoyable: First rule for me is trying to keep my study space (mostly my bed) organised as much as possible. It helps me to de-clutter my mind as well and focus better on the work I have to do.
I also listen to ambient music and sounds while studying to not only block out unwanted conversations but also provide a familiar study environment for myself. I sometimes “trick” my brain into doing useful work by rewarding her with snacks and frequent non-social media breaks(.

Being part of a study group: While I naturally love reading solo, lockdown classes are making me appreciate the beauty of studying together with others. Living in a hostel has me more accessible to not just my group mates, but also seniors that can constantly be of help.
After individual studying, my friends and I often come together to revise and tackle possible questions. This helps me solidify what I have studied, unlearn incorrect information, and also gain much more confidence before the class.

Maintaining good habits: Since quarantine started, I’ve found myself making healthier choices about the quality of my food, sleep and exercise. Sitting at a desk all day taking in large amounts of information will invariably reduce your attention and retention spans and so you’ll actually be doing less quality work and wasting much more time.
I try to incorporate short exercise sessions into my daily schedule, while intentionally taking more fruits, drinking water more regularly and eating at appropriate times. I honestly don’t have a definite sleep pattern yet, but I’m working on it(.

Doing only what is in my power: During quarantine, it can be tempting to start a competition of productivity with yourself. What I’ve learnt, however, is to not force myself to be organised. As controversial as that may sound, I have decided that my physical and mental health will always matter more than the feeling of productivity.
And so, I try to focus on hitting only the most important and realistic goals per day. This also means not spending too much time planning and organising that I’m eventually too exhausted to study.

Studying at home doesn’t have to be unnecessarily complicated. It’s totally okay to change up the routine, go on social media, catch up with friends, binge-watch Netflix or even try to learn new stuff outside of school.
On some days, you may fall short and on other days, you may be feeling super-motivated. Online school is a whole new challenge for most people, so remember to reward yourself for even thinking about productivity!

Whether you’re having online classes or not, definitely comment down below what and how you’ve been studying this quarantine.

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7 Responses

  1. Nwoye Vivian says:

    I love this….it’s really encouraging and similar to my current situation. Unfortunately, it was only late into online learning that i found out the pros in it.

  2. Tumi says:

    Lovely piece!

  3. Adesola Ajayi says:

    Super nice🥰, great content. I was skeptical about online learning at first, seems I’ve gotten a hang of it. For me, it gives me more time to read and also do other stuffs. As long as I take out procrastination and keep to time, I’ll be fine👍

  1. 26 July 2021

    […] example, one blog post, ‘How I’m studying during quarantine‘, reminds me that it’s okay to feel tired and unproductive sometimes; that online […]

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