How I delude myself into enjoying studying

How I delude myself into enjoying studying
Photo by Sophie Nourbakhsh/ UCSD Guardian

Like many of my fellow students, studying has never been enjoyable for me. I’ll sit down at my desk with my computer out and headphones on, fully intending to have a great cram session, only to immediately get back up and lay in my bed. I’ll do anything to avoid schoolwork: scroll through TikTok, talk to my roommates, or even clean my bathroom. Any activity that does not involve reading, writing, or accessing modules on the dreaded Canvas platform is fine with me. 

Yet, I am constantly bombarded with videos of influencers asking me to spend a day in their lives as college students. They always have beautifully written planners, effortlessly organized notes, and more gadgets than I knew even existed. They’ll sit in cool cafes with their $10 iced coffees and hair drawn back in claw clips, somehow making studying seem like the coolest thing to ever exist. After consuming months and months of this content, I decided that enough was enough. I would follow their lifestyle and delude myself into thinking that homework is enjoyable. Here is how I did it. 

1) Always have a snack.

While I love the idea of sipping on a cup of coffee while I do my work, the truth is that coffee has never agreed with me. I do not want to be crass, but let’s just say…if I have coffee, it needs to be done within the comfort of my own home. Side note: I will never understand those of you who come to class with coffee. How do you just drink that while knowing you won’t be leaving your seat for at least an hour? But I digress. While coffee is not for me, snacks certainly are. Do they make it harder to type on my laptop? Yes. Do they take time away from actually doing work? Also, yes. But the fact of the matter is, snacks keep me in my desk chair and honestly, that is half the battle. I am partial to yogurt or chocolate-covered almonds — a nutritious and delicious snack to help fuel my brain for just a little bit longer.  

2) Aesthetic over everything.

Now, you might be thinking, “This is terrible advice! You should focus on studying, not the idea of studying.” This is true. But remember, our goal here is not necessarily to be super productive. Rather, it is to delude ourselves into enjoying studying. The actual amount of work we get done does not actually matter; as long as we can call it studying, we are studying. And nothing helps me get a good study session in like pretty notes do. While I am not the most artistic person, I do like my notes to look a specific way. I will copy them, recopy them, draw diagrams, and use an ungodly number of colored pens to make them look just the way I want them. Not only do the aesthetics of the notes allow me some semblance of joy amidst the misery of productivity, but copying and recopying notes is actually an incredibly effective study method. While not perfect, copying things down does allow them to stick in my brain better, making this tip a double whammy. 

Photo by Sophie Nourbakhsh

3) Make your friend study with you. 

We all have that one friend who we agree to do work with, only to be shocked to learn that they are actually planning on doing work. They’ll sit across the table from you, watching lectures or writing notes, silently shaming you for not doing the same while also making the whole ordeal look fun. My tip is to allow these absolute academic weapons to peer pressure you into focusing on your work. After all, everything feels easier with a friend. And at the end of the session, you will not only feel productive but also like you had an important bonding experience with your study partner — a (study) trauma bond if you will. 

Photo by Sophie Nourbakhsh

I know that studying isn’t fun. It’s frustrating, time-consuming, and seemingly never-ending. Yet, while I don’t necessarily want to praise influencers for the fictional lives they present online, they might be onto something here. Following their lifestyle has made me slightly more productive. Even though romanticizing studying may not be the best method, something is better than nothing. If deluding yourself into enjoying studying is all you can do, then I say fake it till you make it.

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About the Contributors
Samantha Phan, Lifestyle Associate Editor
Samantha is a third year literature and sociology student. When she isn't writing for the UCSD Guardian she is probably laying in bed.
Sophie Nourbakhsh, Photographer
I'm a simple woman, Mrs. Fundamental like I play for the Spurs
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