How to study a subject you hate – Masterpost

acdemic:

hey hello friends!! i’m excited to present a new original masterpost series, #studyingwithacdemic! my blog’s “tagline” has long been ‘study with me’, and now i’d like to make that a reality. in #studyingwithacdemic, i’ll be addressing many of the problems that students encounter in their studying journeys, and offering my personal tips on how to face them!

some of these masterposts will be veeery specific while others will talk about a broader topic. however, all of them have one goal: to help you become the best student you can be! you can tag posts using these tips with either #heyacdemic or #studyingwithacdemic and i’ll be sure to reblog <3

with that aside, here’s the very first masterpost: studying a subject you hate. i know hate is a very strong word, but there are some subjects you really just can’t stand. however, there are a few different kinds of hatred:

  1. hatred because it bores you: if you don’t enjoy learning about a subject, that can certainly complicate things a little.
  2. hatred because it confuses you: sometimes you don’t like a subject because it’s not your strong suit and it frustrates you to try and understand it!
  3. hatred because of previous failures: there are some subjects i don’t like because i failed a test on it, or something of that sort, whereas i enjoy the subjects i’ve always done well on. past mistakes may influence your opinions on a subject!
  4. hatred for no reason: u serious mate?? pfft.

there’s really no set, foolproof method to tackle subjects you don’t enjoy, so in this masterpost i’ll be addressing how to study for subjects that you dislike based on why you dislike them. ok ok, without further ado:

HATRED BECAUSE IT BORES YOU

  • use a rewards system!! if you really cannot get yourself to enjoy a subject, forcing yourself to like the subject won’t get very far. however, forcing yourself to like studying it is slightly more doable.
    + set up a way to reward yourself for bravely facing that awful subject
    + after two hours of focused studying, give yourself a pack of gummy bears or something. give yourself an incentive to study!
    + bonus points if the reward is good for you. maybe reward yourself a 30 minute run if you finish studying, cause that’ll boost your energy, be healthier than gummy bears, and be a cool reward for studying 🙂
  • study in different ways! have some diversity in the ways that you study!
    + experiment with timelines, mindmaps, annotating, etc. to keep things interesting while you’re taking notes.
    + also don’t hesitate to stray from your textbook and into the world wide web of info: look up youtube videos, podcasts, websites, articles, etc. to study rather than just sticking with what your teacher gives you!
    + when you’re reviewing something, don’t just stare at your notes, turn it into a game or something!! make it fun.
    + if you’re always trying new ways to study a subject, who knows, maybe one will click and you’ll start to enjoy it 🙂
  • associate with things you enjoy! hard to hate something that’s similar to so many things you like, right?
    + for example: you hate english? look, you’ve just shunned all of your favorite books and songs and writing in general. you hate science? sorry, my friend, it’s because of science that you’re breathing (biology) and cake exists (chemistry)
    + ps: sorry if i got those subjects wrong, i haven’t taken chem or bio yet! 
  • study with the pomodoro method! here is a great masterpost by aza (@etudiance) about the pomodoro method, i really recommend taking a look!
    + this works great for subjects that bore you because you’d be studying for short blocks and have breaks in between, meaning you wouldn’t be stuck staring at a textbook for 3 hours *shudders*
    + just make sure that the time you’re spending studying is really focused studying, not just passively flipping through notes.
  • study with a friend! especially if they LOVE that subject. studying with a friend (productively) can make subjects so much more bearable!
    + as long as it’s actually studying, and not.. taking selfies or talking about unrelated subjects ////toootally haven’t done that before ahem ahem////
    + plus, if your friend adores the subject you abhor, maybe their enthusiasm will rub off on you!

HATRED BECAUSE IT CONFUSES YOU

  • ask your teacher for help! i swear by this one: teachers are (usually) great people who want you to succeed! no they are not evil creatures making you fail your classes for the heck of it!
    + arrange office hours or something with your teachers to go over content you’re struggling with. this is a great time to get to know your teacher as a friend and you’ll be approaching the material at a pace you’re comfortable with
    + if you’re scared of talking to your teacher (we all know the feeling!), you can always just correspond via email, and if they think you need a private meeting, they’ll most likely suggest it
    + if your teacher gives study guides or premade note thingies, always always always go through them thoroughly because that’s exactly what they think you need to study!!
  • don’t hesitate to raise your hand! everybody hates asking questions in class because they’re afraid they’ll sound dumb. don’t.
    + ask with pride because somebody out there needs you to ask that question for them! and even if you think you hear snickering (spoiler alert: that’s your imagination, silly), imagine it as a heroic deed for that-one-kid-who-needed-to-know-the-answer-to-that-particular-question-but-didn’t-bravely-raise-their-hand-like-you-did. congratulations, my friend.
    + teachers are totally fine with going through material again because if you are struggling to understand something, that’s their fault because they’re supposed to be teaching you.
    + it’s better to ask during class than struggle on a test.
  • basically, reach out to other people. if you have trouble with a subject and are starting to resent it because of that, the answer is not to self-study and cry over things, the answer is to ask for help.
    + i know because i basically wing everything and there are times when i want to slap myself for not asking a teacher, friend, or my parents for help beforehand.
    + don’t be afraid to search online, but don’t rely on it either. if you’re scraping through your english class by living on sparknotes / cliffnotes, etc. that’s clearly not going to work. it’s okay to use resources like that sometimes to help you understand content you’re really struggling with, but using those ideas (aka not your own ideas) in your homework, etc. is plagiarism. nuh-uh, not ok, don’t do it! ask for help!!
    + also the studyblr community is great!! send in asks because we will all want to give you love and support: and even if we don’t know the answer, we can direct you to another person or masterpost that can help. some people to ask are emma (@elkstudies), grace (@gracelearns), sareena (@studyign), ann (@educaticn), seo (@tbhstudying) and kimberly (@kimberlystudies) – they are absolutely lovely and seem to always have an answer <3 or you can check out @studyblrindex to find someone who studies the subject!! or just ask any studyblr honestly! feel free to ask me as well, i’d love to help if i can ;o;
  • use methods that work for you! even though diversity in study methods is great for subjects that bore you, stick with the stuff that always works for you when you’re confused.
    + do you usually get good grades when you annotate while you read? great, keep doing that!
    + don’t make the mistake of sticking with methods that don’t work, though: if annotating while you read just confuses you even more, it’s time to stop and try something new.
  • just keep working on it! hatred due to lack of understanding of the subject is probably the easiest to fix because if you work hard enough, the subject gets easy and woah omg, more bearable <3 it may seem tough now but you can do it!!
    +
    check out my motivation tag for some stuff to keep you going!
    + i personally think @chibird’s super adorable drawings are great for boosting your morale if you’re feeling down / unmotivated 🙂 give jackie a follow!!!

HATRED BECAUSE OF PREVIOUS FAILURES

  • don’t doubt yourself! you get one bad grade, then you think you’re just doomed to bad grades in the class for the rest of the semester. then you really do get bad grades because you’ve just given up. don’t let that happen!!
    + the worst thing you can do is constantly remind yourself about what you did wrong!
    + also, most of the time your “failure” wasn’t even as bad as you think!! even if it was something public and embarrassing, the only person who still remembers it is you.
  • spend less time thinking about your “mistake / failure / incident” and more time assessing what you can do better next time! this one’s a biggie. instead of resenting a subject because something bad happened that one time, it’s better to see how you can prevent it from happening again.
    + giving up isn’t an option here!!!
    + maybe for the test you got an F on, you tried a new study method that definitely didn’t work. all you have to do is stop using that method!
    + this will also take your mind off the fact that you “failed” (again, you probably didn’t), and lead you to think of it more positively (because now you know what to avoid doing in the future!)
  • don’t overdo it! one time in english class, i basically made this really dumb mistake and i cried and was miserable about it for a whole year. then, i made myself attempt to memorize the dictionary because i forgot the meaning of one word.
    + that was a huge waste of time for me, constantly reminded me of the mistake i made, kept me miserable, made me feel guilty when i couldn’t memorize a word, didn’t actually help my vocabulary, and was basically a big, fat pfffft.
    + the lesson to learn from this is: assessing what you can do better next time DOES NOT MEAN to overdo things. it just means to learn from your mistakes and try to improve <3
  • re-inspire yourself! most of the time, this subject wasn’t one you always hated. it was just that one dumb thing that made you feel miserable and queasy to even think about the subject. don’t let something so small ruin a whole subject for you!
    + check out my failure tag for some posts about dealing with failure or disappointment in the academic world!!
    + search for posts in the studyblr community related to that subject to see how wonderful that subject is! 🙂

HATRED BECAUSE HATRED. 

  • there’s no way to make yourself not hate something if you don’t know why you hate it. ask yourself why you hate that subject so much! chances are, you don’t hate it at all!
    + try and talk / rant to someone about it (you can drop me an ask with a rant about a subject you hate – i’d be happy to try and help or just be a person you can rant to). maybe the reason will come out in the process of ranting.
    + or just journal / write for a little bit about the subject. sometimes letting your emotions loose can help!

alright, that is it for this first masterpost!! i really hope you found this helpful, since these are all my personal tips, no research or anything. if you have any questions, want to talk, want to yell at me for a bad masterpost, want to chat about your day, have any suggestions for future #studyingwithacdemic masterposts, want to request a future masterpost etc. etc. just drop me an ask and i’ll answer asap to the best of my abilities! <3 thanks for reading and have an absolutely magnificent day, xoxo hannah

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