FOMO and the Robbo: the reality of studying

How do you find your productivity?

multiple writers
1st November 2022
Image credit: instagram @libraryncl
Most of us have probably seen Gilmore Girls or Legally Blonde and imagined ourselves the main characters, pulling all-nighters to get our work done, or going to coffee shops (which always look aesthetically pleasing) to write our essays. I bet we have all realized by now that getting the work done takes a lot more than a 30-second montage with a banger playing in the background.

Our initially romanticized view of how studying looks like then turns into chaos trying to figure out which readings are for which module. And after you finally finish reading, you go tick it off your to-do list, only to find out there are five more readings waiting for you, one of which is a 300 paged book, all for next week. Then, a more realistic scene sets in - you banging your head against a wall at 3 am.

That all seems like a heavy load, so how do you find your productivity and get it all done?

My dad always gave me this advice: "Whatever you get done before lunch is like it’s for free, no effort"

For me, it is a trip to the library. I prefer to find a quiet little corner so that no one can disturb me. Libraries help me find my productivity mostly because I am in an environment full of other people who are also working, which pushes me to do my own work, as I would feel guilty procrastinating there. I also never forget to pack a snack, as an energy refill can be most helpful when stuck. And lastly, an advice my dad always gave me: "Whatever you get done before lunch is like it’s for free, no effort." So, if you have an assignment due, try to get up in the horrifyingly early hours and strut over to the library - you might just find it works for you.

Anna Nix

Many of us come to University with an idealised notion of what studying in higher education will be like - but how does it measure up against reality? 

Hours spent pouring over papers in quiet cafés, autumn leaves crunching under boots as you walk to lectures; period dramas and internet trends such as dark academia work to present us with a highly romanticised vision of uni life. However, once the dust of freshers' week has settled, many new students find themselves struggling to keep up with their workload. Trust me, I’ve been there. At a time when seemingly everyone is out every single night and making new friends all the time, the FOMO you get from ‘giving tonight a miss’ can be tough. 

A word of advice - avoid the collaborative study areas during exam season. You won’t be able to move for the familiar faces and will get lost in the conversations that entail

The solution is to find what works for you. Pints in Luther's while you ‘work’ sounds like a good idea, until you are left staring at a blank word doc the night before a deadline. Do you work best in the morning or the evening? With paper notes or Google Docs? Where are you most productive? Make the most of the University’s facilities! You’re paying 9k a year for them, after all. A word of advice - avoid the collaborative study areas during exam season. You won’t be able to move for the familiar faces and will get lost in the conversations that entail. Maybe take refuge in the Marjorie.

In short, it’s important to find a balance. Sure, have your main character moments, but knuckle down when needs must.

Oran Kirby

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