Studyology V1 was a drop-in support group for students who wanted to hone their study skills.
This included getting on top of procrastination, finding that inner motivation, or tackling the perfectionism demons.
It was run every Tuesday during term time from 10.00am to 11.30am at OASIS in 2018.
Running the group taught me a lot about the kinds of study challenges that students face.
We’ve now moved to Studyology V2 but below are some observations we made about the kinds of issues that students brought with them to Studyology V1 sessions and the power of the group format to help address those issues.
Some interesting observations from Studyology V1
Certain themes popped up regularly in Studyology sessions. Here is a selection of some of the most common.
- Procrastination is a common topic and honestly something most students will confront at some point. Ben provides a really neat explanation of procrastination that draws on the idea that as we confront our studies, our levels of emotional arousal increase, that we tend to interpret that negatively, and then we look for any ways we can to reduce that discomfort (e.g. do housework, tell ourselves we can start tomorrow). Part of tackling procrastination is realising that the increase in emotional arousal is actually a good sign. It is moving you towards a level of arousal at which you will be your most creative and productive.
- Motivation is another very common topic. Like ‘inspiration’ and ‘creativity’, we can fall into the trap of thinking that we have to wait until we feel ‘inspired’ or ‘creative’ or ‘motivated’ before we start working. On the contrary, inspiration, creativity and motivation are built by regularly pushing ourselves to engage with the topic/task. Spending an hour trying different structures for your essay will be far more motivating than waiting till you feel you have the perfect idea in your head.
- Questions about meaning and purpose arise when people disengage from their studies. Students start to wonder if they’ve picked the right degree and whether they want to build a career out of what they are studying. This can be a difficult topic because sometimes it is the case that you should change degree. Other times, it is simply a temporary loss of motivation. Studyology provides a setting in which you can start discussing this. The more you talk about it, the clearer your pathway will become.
- Setting boundaries is one way that students try to manage their time and sleep is one of the most common targets. Students get trapped between the reality which is that they are studying last minute, often into the night, versus the ideal which is to keep a regular sleep schedule (consistent bed and wake time) and engaging with their studies during ‘business hours’. Having a non-negotiable bed-time and wake-time routine is a starting point for setting such boundaries around sleep.
- Study hacks are little tricks and tools that students use to keep on track. Some students use tech to help them reduce internet distractions. We’ve recommended that students use assignment schedulers to keep on track of when assignments are due. We are keen to hear what study hacks you use.
- The power of the group – There is something strangely empowering about talking openly about your difficulties (or victories) with study. Sometimes you realise that others are confronting the exact same issues that you are and you feel less alone. Sometimes the group praises you on your efforts to make changes, which can feel really validating. Other times it is just helpful to have a space in which you can have a bit of a moan about things not quite going your way.
In 2019, we reformatted Studyology from an open group into a 4-session small group program. We kept the best aspects of the group (being able to share stories and find validation in the struggles of others) but now we provide more formal coaching of how to tackle procrastination and study anxiety. Studyology V2 as it is called now will be running in 2020. Visit the main Studyology blog post to learn more.