Study must haves for the students, by the students
Whether it’s your favourite snack, specific coloured sticky notes, or a jamming playlist, somethings are just a study must have. These change from person to person, so we rounded up some advice from current students to help you nail your next study session.
"I BLAST lo fi hip hop or classical music when I'm in an intense study session. My mum knows that when its on ‘she’s studying, don't bother’. But for real, it does help to keep you focused and away from distractions," Martina Angelique Reyes, Diploma of Building Design (CPP50911), Eagle Farm campus.
"I have a Lo Fi Hip Hop playlist that keeps me company. I suffer from Tinnitus and having the calm lo fi also helps with the frustration of ringing ears," Maddie McLeod, Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community)(CHC33015), Caboolture campus.
There is plenty of evidence linking music to our brains’ ability to absorb and remember information. Aside from the Spice Girls, the 1990s birthed ‘The Mozart Effect’ – a popular belief that smashing out the classical composers’ greatest hits would turn us into overnight geniuses.
"Aside from the obvious computer/WiFi needs, as an online student living in a busy household, a good pair of headphones are my study must-have. They help me to focus - I play quiet music or ambient noise through them when I'm reading through content, and sometimes I just wear them for the quiet they bring. They also signal, "Mum's studying - space required!". Using them to listen to course-related podcasts while going about other tasks has also been really helpful. I'd be lost without them," Belinda Choong, Unilearn, online student.
As a TAFE Queensland student, you have access to our computer network and a range of digital services including WiFi, Connect, Studiosity, and more.
Food and drinks
"My number one study must have, that I'm sure many would agree is COFFEE. There is no doubt that it pumps up my energy, but don't overdrink because the effect of caffeine can be reversed. Switch it out with other beverages sometimes and make it a brief escape," Martina Angelique Reyes, Diploma of Building Design (CPP50911), Eagle Farm campus.
Does coffee make you smarter though? In late 2014 researchers at the Johns Hopkins University found that caffeine does have a positive effect on our short-term memory. The scientists believe that caffeine may be acting on the hippocampus, a part of the brain that acts as a relay switching centre for short and long term memories.
"I tuck Starburst lollies between pages as a reward for finishing reading tasks. Because I'm a procrastinator I need rewards and it helps me stay focused," Maddie McLeod, Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community)(CHC33015), Caboolture campus.
When studying, you need plenty of energy to keep up your mental stamina as well as your physical strength. While sugar may help in the short term, it's also important to keep your mind and body fuelled with healthy foods.
"My study essential is a good old note pad and a large pack of black pens! I can’t think of anything better than putting pen to paper and taking notes by hand writing them. It’s how I learn and absorb information in the most effective way and I use a notepad and black pens every time I sit down to study for my course. Especially with crime and justice I find remembering legislation is easier when I physically write it down," Chelsea McKenzie, Certificate IV in Crime and Justice Studies (10283NAT), online student.
Everyone learns differently. Some of us need to write things down like Chelsea; some need to hear instructions out loud, and some of us can’t figure something out until we’ve had a chance to actually do it with our own hands. There’s no right or wrong way to learn, but if you can figure out your learning style and use it to your advantage, there’s no limit to what you can achieve.
Focus and comfort
"I scroll socials too much, so the Tomato Timer app helps keep study in achievable time frames while allowing for breaks," Maddie McLeod, Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing, Home and Community)(CHC33015), Caboolture campus.
"Can't go past my aroma diffuser! This is something I could never do in a classroom is to make my study space relaxing and comfortable with my Study/Focus aroma. Don’t use Sleep aroma, okay?? It calms me specially on stressful assessments and deadlines or by just enjoying my study space," Martina Angelique Reyes, Diploma of Building Design (CPP50911), Eagle Farm campus.
"Taking time to rest and breathe from your study table is also a must," Martina Angelique Reyes, Diploma of Building Design (CPP50911), Eagle Farm campus.
"While a rad Reggae playlist and a dozen cups of coffee never go amiss, my study must have is the support and encouragement of the people around me. From my family and friends who bring me snacks and endlessly cheer me on. To the peers I brainstorm and share notes with. To the tutors who diligently answer all my questions and respond to my many emails...it takes a village! They all contribute to my success. They invest in me so I can invest in the community around me," Danae Roe, Certificate IV in Youth Work (CHC40413), Mooloolaba campus.
Everyone's journey is different and sometimes you need some extra support. We're here to help. Our student support services are available for all of our students, making your learning experience just that little bit easier.