Tips for Studying to Improve Mental Health

Tips for Studying to Improve Mental Health

Karina Babcock and Amanda Ito

A Morris Knolls student’s life in 2021 is never dull – between homework, SAT preparation, college applications, social life, and family obligations in the midst of a global pandemic, tasks can accumulate faster than piling snow.

In a world that’s constantly evolving, it is important for students to understand their learning style, and many people fall into one of three categories – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Visual learners obtain information by reading, seeing pictures, and analyzing data, whereas auditory learners prefer lectures, spoken facts, or verbal instruction. Kinesthetic learners utilize physical memory and hands-on experience to retain information. When asked about learning engagement, Morris Knolls junior Caroline Kopas communicated that “finding something to do with my notes, rather than just taking them, really helps. I think that making more study materials, such as Quizlets, and talking about what’s being learned helps me remember the material better.” As both a visual and an auditory learner, Caroline found these strategies to be helpful with her daily studies. Once a student has confidently identified their learning style, they can tailor their studying strategies to best fit their needs.

Engagement is essential both in and out of the classroom, so active reading is an excellent way to ensure academic success. Note-taking, annotating, and having material discussions are strategies that work for each type of engaged learner. Productive study groups are both socially and academically useful, and students always have their instructors for additional help. However, before anyone else’s help can truly benefit students, they first must establish a healthy studying routine by limiting procrastination.

For students, two major contributors towards procrastination are social media and additional screen time. While technology connects the world, constant notifications take away from time that could be used in a more productive way. To stay focused, it is recommended to put phones and other distractions out of sight, so they are out of mind. Another way to minimize distractions is to exercise, which improves both physical and mental health. Physical activity releases endorphins that reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety along with helping to manage stress in a healthy way.

Poor study habits can lead to staying up late to finish homework or cramming test review. Most teenagers need eight to ten hours of sleep since it improves moods, heightens the ability to concentrate, and strengthens immune system response. To stimulate reflection, journaling or light reading before bed can help ease anxiety and prompt relaxation. Additionally, mindfulness and meditation apps like Calm and Headspace improve focus and promote sleep.

While school and learning are important, the mental health of Morris Knolls students should ultimately be their number one priority. Finding the balance between schoolwork, socialization, and extracurricular participation with the aforementioned strategies is a recipe for accomplishment and productivity.