Looking Beyond Textbooks

Life is all about balance. For every crest, there is a trough waiting. Dawn is always followed by dusk, and all of the 75% of wetness (we mean, water) on planet Earth is compensated by the dryness of studying. Let’s face it; you must be a pathological weirdo to make a hobby out of studying. But people actually do it, which makes you kind of an underdog. You can hide behind excuses of attention deficit disorders all you want, but in the end, you’ll have to end up doing what you are “supposed” to be doing. It’s the ugly truth.

The first thing you should do is the hardest – think about where you use those things in life and why people bothered to sit down and type out what essentially makes up your pillow. For example, calculus helps not only in science but also in economics and management disciplines. Knowing the basics of chemistry can improve your cooking. History classes can help you understand when popular books, television shows, movies, etc. are based on historical events (and have fun pointing out when they get things wrong). Math can be used in many practical situations, such as doing taxes, calculating how much paint you need to cover a wall, and figuring out how much interest you’ll pay on a car loan.

Most of the time, an aversion to textbooks is brought about by disparaging comments from peers and teachers. Negative reinforcement can have a lasting impact on a person’s interests and can be very decisive in the long run. It is important to diagnose these sources of criticism and brush them away. Never be afraid of being judged.

That being said, all you need to spice up your study life is to approach it in different ways. One needs to have a regular schedule encompassing everything—from getting work done to pursuing hobbies and watching random YouTube videos (please don’t quote me on that one!). The brain uses different regions for different tasks, and the best way not to be bored is to give all of the regions of your brain equal attention.

The schedule you come up with must be regular, one that you can follow on a daily basis. If you have a lot of work to do, remember to schedule short breaks. For instance, if you are going to be studying for several hours, remember to take a break (five minutes or so) every hour to clear your head by walking around or grabbing a snack, etc.

Break your tasks into smaller, manageable ones and always look for ways to create variety in your tasks to keep things interesting.

Incentives and rewards can also go a long way. Set up realistic goals for each day and treat yourself on achieving them. It’s a similar effect to when you run on a treadmill eyeing a rare Pokemon attached to the end of a stick.

From my, albeit, not so vast experience, the best way to get interested in your textbook is, ironically, is to look beyond them. The world is at your fingertips, and you can do as you please and learn what you want to. Watch videos/animations and talk to people about fascinating aspects of the subject. Textbooks are obsolete. Real learning happens when you live the story. It’s when you beg to differ with the conventional school of thought.

Everyone and everything deserves a second chance. So, pick that textbook back up (or not!) and look at them in a different light. The world does not deal with absolutes; it deals with perspectives. A different perspective or a different approach could go a long way!

Besides that textbook, the other debatable subject is the study systems students should follow. Read here about the two types of systems on offer: self-study and classroom study.

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