By Trishala Thamilselvan (13S07C) and Cara Leong (13A01B)
With RI life a 24/7 mugathon, we discover some of the curious and bizarre study habits of RI students…
1. “I study in a dark room with earplugs and only a table lamp on.” Sensory deprivation in Guantanamo Bay? Nope, more like RI students studying for their Common Tests. If simply playing music doesn’t work for you, perhaps you should try this! Physical isolation takes the idea of focus and brings it to a whole new level: removing everything that could possibly distract you.
2. “I travel from Buona Vista to Changi Airport to hit the books.” Is it the cool, spacious, air-conditioned departure halls? Or the escapist within each of us wishing we could fly to our dream holiday destination? Whatever it is, a good number of us are prepared to travel to the other side of the island just to revise our work. Even quirkier are those who tune in to live air-traffic control broadcasts (yes!) while reciting the Periodic Table. Doubt it? Check out http://www.liveatc.net/.
3. “I have to eat Pringles potato chips while I mug.” Eating may be a way of helping yourself to stay awake, especially if you are trying to complete an assignment late at night, or maybe reading a particularly boring set of notes. Perhaps the loud crunches help keep one awake too? It would be best to snack healthily though—fruits or granola bars are always good options!
4. “I study lying down in bed.” Reading notes while lying on your bed is possibly the most comfortable thing that can be passed off as studying. However, while studying on your bed may be comfortable, sometimes it gets a little too comfortable. You might have had the experience of dozing off until your notes hit you in the face, or waking up buried in your tutorial. We certainly have!
5. “I get up at 3 a.m. to do my work.” Going to bed early, but only to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to study may seem like an unearthly idea to some of us, yet proves to be an effective study strategy for others! Perhaps if you work best at night, or after a certain amount of sleep to get rejuvenated, this might work for you. The dead silence of the wee hours of the morning can also be a really conducive environment without any distractions.
6. “I study with music blasting into my ears.” This removes other distractions like a younger sibling’s shouts or the general chatter in the canteen. Also, for some people, listening to your favourite song may simply just provide a more pleasant aspect to mugging (if that is even possible). Music often helps people to zone out of what is happening around them and focus on their work; this is important when you’re trying to make the most of your time!
7. “I study best in the canteen with my friends.” Parents often see study groups as a waste of time, and so do many students. But if a study group is focused, studying in groups can in fact lead to productive revision! You know you’ll never be able to sleep for long in a study group (unless you tell your friends not to wake you up) unlike at home, where you might pass out on your table and wake up hours later. Friends can also help you to answer tough tutorial questions, or simply provide silent comfort in your pain as you study.
We spend so much of our time completing homework assignments and revising for tests and exams, and so being efficient while doing so is of utmost importance. But while we are fervently mugging, maybe we could also stop to think about how our study habits reflect the kind of people we are!