Students of our IB Diploma Programme recently had a working session with IB coordinator Santanu Bhowmik. Here they share what they learned.
A few weeks ago, IB2 had a session led by Mr. Bhowmik discussing good study habits and methods. Ideas that came out of this included following a study schedule, setting time restrictions to social media apps and having parents check up on your studying. A study habit we tried out is setting a dedicated working space, which for us meant putting up a desk used strictly for schoolwork. Hence, I bought a study table!!!! This put us in a working mindset and turned out to be far more productive than doing homework on a bed or on a couch.
Tips: Organize your study room. Watch your posture.
Another thing we tried out was participating in a mindfulness-based meditation course where you’re given the tools to practice at home, which can be useful even beyond the IB programme. Some benefits of meditation include increased concentration and memory which is useful for our approaching final examinations. It also reduces any stress and anxiety we experience. The session on study habits allowed us to take a break from what we were studying, and rather look at how we’re studying it.
Tips: Organize your mind by doing meditation. Eat healthy and timely.
My fight with TikTok/Screen time
I was very much addicted to this app called TikTok. In case you have not heard, TikTok is a video sharing platform where you can watch and create 15 seconds viral dances, challenges and pranks. Due to the hype and popularity, I decided to hop on the trend and create an account where I posted my own videos, mostly of me and my friends re-creating dances or challenges. Consequently, one of the videos featuring my classmates went viral, reaching over 300K views and had ultimately since then propelled me to continue creating videos. This resulted in me spending almost all my free time (including lunch and breaks at school) making TikTok videos and trying to get “TikTok famous”.
My daily screen time was over 5 hours left me with very little time to study and revise. I noticed that I started procrastinating and prioritizing making TikTok videos more rather than studying, causing me to fall behind my classes.
During our ‘study habits and techniques’ session with Mr. Bhowmik, we talked about different kinds of distractions and strategies to either control or avoid those. I also had a one-on-one session with Mr. Bhowmik regarding my ‘action plan’ and I concluded that being “TikTok famous” will get me nowhere as I don't get anything out of it other than temporary fame. I realized that working for my IB diploma was more important as it will have an impact on my life later. It was hard to delete the TikTok application and reduce my screen time, however I noticed that since then, I have been having more time to study and do my other hobbies.
Tips: Do not get obsessed with social media fame! Control your screen time!
Looping and Tabbing
I have so much time to get work done, yet only get the bare minimum done in that time. Not because I am distracted, nor on my phone or sleeping, but getting caught up in my own thoughts. They pile up and just become overwhelming, to the point where my concentration just is to my thoughts and I stress out and get sidetracked by. Sometimes results in me getting very emotional and go into a negative mindset, where I no longer work due to this constant looping of thoughts, and by the time I get my act together, time passes by significantly and clearly effects type of work that I put out.
The method of ‘tabbing’ was introduced to me by our IB Head, Mr. Bhowmik. He suggested that in that time frame where I chose and also was going to work, to have someone such as a family member to come check on me every 20 minutes or so, to essentially snap me out of this loop to allow concentration to be maintained. Whether it was a pat on the back, or a knock on the table, or taps on the door, but no verbal communication.
I have been applying this method to my everyday routine when at home and doing my schoolwork for the past couple weeks. I feel that it has helped me so far. I understand that method will not give immediate results and will take time, and practice to become effective. However, I do have high hopes for it really helping me and I hope that sharing this personal experience of mine may be of help to other students who may be in a similar situation.
Sophia’s tips: Improve your focus and concentration level during your study hours.