Studying to further your education and career can be rewarding – and yet taking on too much can lead to study struggles and frustrations.
What can you do if you find your studies are becoming just too overwhelming?
1. Turn To Your Teacher
Lecturers, tutors and teachers are there to help.
If you’re struggling significantly, especially with course material, it may be worth talking to your lecturer or tutor. Tutors can help clarify questions and confusion and provide direction on what you can do to keep up.
• Find out the best person to approach (Tutor? Lecturer?)
• Request a face-to-face meeting or phone call so that you can go through your concerns
• Take the time to prepare some questions in advance and think about what you really need from the tutor to help you overcome your struggles
• Don’t forget – you can also ask for help from your tutor or lecturer with an assignment or essay; consider approaching them with your idea or outline to get their feedback
2. Find Study Friends
Finding it hard to study solo?
Studying with fellow students or even joining an official study group can be an excellent way to overcome study struggles. It can help motivate you to learn, and you can deepen your skills and knowledge through discussion and interaction with others.
• Check noticeboards to see if there is a group you can join
• Ask other students if they’d be willing to get together for a study session
• Consider starting an official group yourself and inviting other students to join
3. Reduce Your Workload
You may find you’re struggling with your studies because you’ve set your expectations too high or taken on too much.
If you’re really struggling, reducing your workload can be beneficial and it can allow you to be more focused rather than frazzled.
• Could you drop a subject and then pick it up again next semester?
• Could you extend your course finish time to take the pressure off?
• Are you taking on elective units that aren’t really necessary at this point?
• Could you change your lifestyle to create more room for study?
4. Revise & Refresh
Sometimes, all you need is a little revision. Struggling at the start of new terms or semesters can be common, especially if your brain has had a big break. You can revise by:
• Going over your old notes and getting re-familiarised with the topics
• Reading through your textbooks to help you get back to basics
• Revising or discussing with other students to kick-start your brain
5. Take a Time Out
Have you thought about whether you’re struggling because you’re running yourself into the ground study-wise? Remember, burning yourself out is not the way!
• Take a break from your studies, even if it’s just for one day – give your brain a rest
• Schedule regular study breaks to keep your mind refreshed and rejuvenated
6. Consider External Tutoring
If you have the means, engaging an external tutor to help you with a particular subject can be beneficial.
• Think about what type of tutor you need – would you be happy with tutoring from say, a graduate?
• Consider if you can afford a tutor and always remember to ask about pay rates
• If you’re considering being tutored by a fellow student for free, make sure they have the right proficiency and knowledge in your chosen subject
7. Plan Ahead
Drawing up a study plan can also aid you in navigating the study path and forging forward through those times of struggle. You can create a plan on your own or in conjunction with a tutor, career planner or advisor.
• Create a list of short and long-term study goals that you want to achieve – why are you studying? What will the rewards be?
• Define how these goals will benefit you in your career or life
• Set time lines and milestones to keep you on track!
• Whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed or de-motivated, go back to your plan and remind yourself – THIS is why I’ve chosen to study!
Don’t let your study struggles dominate you! If you’re feeling frustrated, try one of the steps above to help you get on top of your situation. You can get help from a tutor or a study group, reduce your workload or take a break, engage in some revision or simply remind yourself of your goals.