How to Learn in a World Where So Much is Happening

The past couple years have been full of catastrophe, loss, and division for our globe and for many individuals. It can be really difficult to reconcile academic learning with significance when there is so much pressure on young people to fix the problems of today. Academics can feel detached from real world issues. And yet, despite everything that is going on, we must figure out ways to learn and study in a world where so much is happening. Here are a few tips that I have learned that might help you if this is something you struggle with too:

Study Tips
Set a timer and do work for a set amount of time. If you’re on a roll, keep going even after the timer stops, but if you need a break after the timer goes off, take a break.

Alternate studying with something fun or find a fun place to go and study. Take walk or run breaks, do some squats or a different physical activity before jumping back into your studies. 

Find a study buddy. Studying with someone else can be distracting but it can also be nice to have someone to hold you accountable. Try doing independent work with another person so you both get your work done.

Focus Tips
Take a social media break. A lot of information is disseminated through social media. Setting timers on the apps you use most often and taking breaks will lessen the noise of the outside world and might help you focus on school.

Meditate or practice mindful breathing. Stopping to focus on breathing for even just a minute can help calm your body and lessen anxious distraction.

Engagement Tips
Join a club outside the academic realm. Sometimes, academics feel really irrelevant to life. Finding an outlet outside of school can help lessen academic dread. Some ideas include sports teams, book clubs, community choirs, and non-profit volunteering. You can also start drawing or writing if you want individual engagement ideas. 

Remember to give yourself grace. Personal and global tragedy are difficult to handle. Listen to your limits and boundaries and advocate for yourself if you need to take a break. Sometimes, academic learning aligns with real world issues, and sometimes it doesn’t. In any case, learning can be valuable because it sets our minds to work in ways that might prepare us for what comes next.