A student’s diary: making your study sessions a lovely time

elizabeth

 

Yes, a lovely time ! You know, after 5 years of being a uni student, I have come to realize that working in a clean, pleasant environment plays a big role in being able to stay focused on that page.

I don’t know if I have a attention-deficit disorder but sometimes I find it incredibly hard to focus on one page of a lecture… And I find that a routine and a certain setting really help, so as I am taking my 10 minutes break right now, I thought I would share a quick post on how to make your study time pleasant and something you will look forward to:

  1. A clutter-free desk makes everything clear ! If you can, start with a desk/a table in a calm environment and get rid of all that clutter on it: keep the bare minimum ! The textbook, a few sheets of paper to take notes and just the few pens and highlighters you need.
  2. A pleasant place: though I don’t like to put decorations on my desk as I feel that a cluttered place does not help, there are three items, apart from my study tools, that I like to keep: a pot of flower, a cup of tea and a candle. I was given beautiful white orchids by a friend, and they light up the whole room, along with the candle (which, for your safety, you must never leave burn when you are not in the room), and a delicious tea or fruit-infused water will ensure that you will have a bit of beauty, liveliness and sweetness as you study
  3. Color, color, color ! In most cases, I think that highlighting and making your lectures and notes something pleasant to the eye is not a waste of time but will help you memorize things.
  4. Of lipstick and perfumes and nails: now, this depends on your personality. I remember that during my first years in university, I felt like I had to sit at my desk in my pajamas and unbrushed hair and without makeup in order to have a “clean conscience”, meaning by that, that if I looked this tired, then GOOD ! It meant I was spending 27 hours/day studying… But to be honest, it was not really efficient. Now, I took the habit (though it’s true that I have less exams that a few years ago) to, even during the exams, take 5 minutes in the morning to fix my hair, do a quick makeup. Far from being a waste of time, it helps you, along with a cup of coffee, to lift your spirits and feel less miserable during those exams where motivation is required. I like to think of the Queen of England: she works every day in her office, and she works definitely very hard (she is probably the most informed woman in the world), and yet, even if she is at home, she is always properly dressed. Now, we can learn a lesson from that: far from being a waste of time and being frivolous, taking 5 minutes in the morning helps you work with joy and helps makes the most of the time and energy you have.

 

And now I am back to my lecture on smoking ! Have a lovely evening !

A student’s diary:

bureau

Studies:

Today I covered:

-Hypothyroidism

-Epileptic seizures

-Osteoporosis

-One type of cancer

-Cardiac arrhytmias

-Psoriasis

-Gout

And then took a huge nap !

Karma, yoga, incense, Buddha and namaste:

You are probably encountering those words regularly, these days.

I then prepared dinner and listened, while I was eating, to a short 13 minutes podcast by Ravi Zacharias, “The Spurious Glitter of Pantheism”. The religion I have the most studied is Islam, and so far my knowledge about Eastern religions is very limited. However, I am observing a new phenomenon in our society, as probably all of us are, whether we are living in America or France.

I had the occasion, during my internship this year, to get to know a young woman in my class, whom I did not know really well until this year. And as I was talking to her, I came to realize that she was practicing yoga and that she loved Buddha’s teaching. Yesterday, I noticed that a girl who was with me in highschool- a lady who had lots of questions about life, who loved to think, and was obviously trying to figure out the meaning of life– has become involved in buddhism to such an extent that she is blogging about it, had interviews with a buddhist monk, and, when she comes back from work, starts her essential oil diffuser, lights incense sticks, and meditates.

I might have an idea why more and more young people are attracted to that zen, green religion but I think it would be interesting to study that as this trend is spreading and we will probably meet colleagues or people that will “profess” New Age ideas. Ravi Zacharias is a reference when it comes to Hinduism and Buddhism.

And now, I am getting back to my desk ! *The student life*

 

Have a nice evening in the Presence of our Lord Jesus-Christ, our Only Rock,

 

Stéphanie

Tips for studying and a goodbye note

styduy

Via Pinterest

A few days ago, a young friend of mine who also happens to be a reader of the blog asked me if I could write a little post where I would share, as a university students, a few tips on studying and faith. I felt the question was oriented toward how to obtain a balance between the two, in other words, how to make room for God and His word throughout the day. Far from knowing everything, I just wanted to share a few tips that helped me during the last few years; and, to be honest, writing them down also prepares me for the upcoming exams- it is good to have a reminder every once in a while .Oh, and speaking about exams, this post is timely because it will be the last one this month ! I am starting to revise for my exams of January and therefore, part of my discipline as a student is that I get rid of what could distract me.

So here are a few things I found useful during my studies:

 

  1. I learned that starting the day with God and ending the day with God is the best “frame” for the day. Charles Spurgeon once said “It is a good rule never to look into the face of a man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God”; a brother was once preaching about something and mentionned that Christ got up early to pray: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35). Just as we eat in the morning, it is good and necessary to feed our souls. To spend time with the Lord. I won’t list all the reasons why but one of them is that 1) As someone said, He is the Maker of time, and there is always a way to make time for Him 2) His words are full of wisdom and you will need them throughout the day. Trust me. Sometimes I will read a short passage of the Bible, or I will read the “text” of the day in a devotional (I have a few: during my first year of University, I used to read Oswald Chamber’s My Utmost for His Highest; now I have a devotional by C.H Spurgeon). This morning, I read a few verses of 1 Timothy. Something I really love is the book of Proverbs, too ! It is jam-packed with wisdom for the day. You just can’t imagine how being influenced by the Word and obeying it dramatically changes your discipline for the best.
  2. Time is not ours. We ought to be good stewards of the time that was given to us. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Colossians 3:23). I constantly have to ask myself, “Was this hour of work done heartily for the Lord ? Or was I complaining all the time ? Checking Facebook ? Wasting my time ?” When we work for the Lord, being grateful for the means and abilities the Lord gave us and using them the best we can, it changes a lot of things. We won’t try to stick to the bare minimum. So often we are discouraged because no one sees our work, or because no one acknowledge it. We feel lonely… but our Master sees it ! “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
  3. Working joyfully makes everything easier. Sure studies are not always easy, but try to make it more pleasant ! It will help you see it less than a chore, and more like a challenge. One of the thing I like to do is to light a candle on my desk; get myself a hot drink and the rule is that I should never leave the candle unattended (since it’s not safe !) and that the drink should continually be hot as to study for extended periods of time, and to go take a break just for getting another beverage or to take a short break. This way, the candle prevents me from leaving the room ! Make your desk a pleasant place, even your favorite place in the whole house !
  4. In order to avoid the temptation of going on the internet,  print, if possible, everything you will need beforehand. That’s what I’ll do this winter. I’ll print all my infectiology and hematology documents instead of constantly opening my computer ! If you really need Word or Open Office, give yourself a limited period of time to type your document and only use your computer for researches purpose, because…
  5. If you really need to take a break, avoid social media and internet at all costs ! Well, now this is my opinion but I think that most of the time, I think a profitable break is a 15 minutes cardio session, or, in my case, a 8-15 minutes Ballet Beautiful Workout; or a 20 minutes cleanup, or a 10 minutes little DIY just to relax. Physical Exercice will help your brain release endorphins, which will leave you energized and those little molecules are also a good antidepressant ! I also find Facebook a distraction, but also a bad place to go to during exam study sessions for a good reason: When I open facebook there are always people who will try to talk to you about how bad things are going for them with that lecture, that they just want to give up, and often, that leaves you depressed. Clearly. So I always make sure to let people know that I will not be available on FB and on text messages during this period of the year because I need to focus on my goal.
  6. Discipline has a price but it pays: look at ants. Look at bees. How organized and hardworking they are, and how their work pays.
  7. Stick to a schedule as to see the progress of your work: that helps when it comes to motivation to cross an item off the list.
  8. Michael Jordan. Yes, Michael Jordan.Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” (1 Cor 9:24-25) Sometimes, when my motivation was low, I would open Youtube and watch Michael Jordan interviews. To see that an athlete like him, a legend of basketball, was not accepted in his highschool basketball team when he was younger, but worked so hard that he finally managed to be the Prince of the NBA had a big impact on me. Of course there will be a need for self-control. Of course. But at the end, you will never regret it. It will teach you so many things.

 

It’s time for me to leave now ! I am going to make myself a good cup- I mean mug of tea, light a candle, stay in my room and study that dermatology lecture !

Have a blessed month of December, y’all ! Hope to be back at the keyboard at the end of January !

 

Stéphanie