Thinking about studying: 10-ish things you should know.

Close your eyes and picture this….

First of all, did you close your eyes? And if you did, you are a dumbass, how will you read the rest of this post with your eyes closed? And second of all, there is no second of all… there is also no end to picture this…

When last did you study? Write an exam? If your answer is more than 5 years ago then I am sure you would appreciate this. You know nothing about studying. Don’t believe me? Wait another 3 years before embarking on a correspondence BCom degree, while working full time. To save you some time here are about 10 things that are bound to happen:

  • Your social life nearly dies

You work from 08:00 till 17:00, then you try and relax a little before diving into the books, because you thought you were a champ and could handle 4 subjects. You aim to go to bed at 23:00 otherwise you are too tired to focus at work, that leaves you with 5 hours of study time, in which you still need to eat and shower. Take away about an hour for shower and eats (unless you don’t live with your folks and have to cook for yourself, which takes you about an hour). this leaves you with 3/4 hours. Weekends are the perfect time to study because, no work. Weekends are also the best time for socialising because, no work. So you become the world’s greatest juggler.

  • Your brain becomes a phoenix

this is how you feel... THE. WHOLE. TIME!

this is how you feel… THE. WHOLE. TIME!

You know how I said, you know nothing? Yeah I wasn’t kidding. I don’t say this to discourage you, but it’s true. This hits you when you open your first textbook and realise that the only thing you understand of it all is “Author”. Yes, its intimidating but you soldier on because you heard somewhere that the brain is the most powerful organ, and also, you paid a shit load for this. After a while you realise that the stuff you are learning isn’t THAT difficult and you start to understand it. Phoenix effect confirmed. Then you look round too see the stack of text books for your next subject awaiting and your brain cliff dives again. It’s an endless cycle of repetition.

  • Sitting…

I don’t know how you study, but most people study at a desk on a chair… most people that have an office job, work at a desk on a chair. See where I am going with this? You do an awefull lot of sitting, approximately 13 hours of it. Yeah sure, you could walk around and study, lay on the ground with your books spread around you like a field of horrors, lean against a wall and study, but lesbe-honest, sitting is the best way. Besides, after a while you don’t feel your bum anymore, so you got that going for you, which is nice.

  • EATING!!!!

All that sitting, leads to the inevitable. Eating!!! Popcorn, jelly sweets, chocolate, popcorn, chips and then some more popcorn. Coffee is a big thing here too, mostly because it is rumoured to have waking-up qualities. This might not be a big thing for all of you, but its there. Maybe more so with the ADHD/ADD types. If that’s you, I salute you, which brings me to the next point.

  • Distractions…

When the initial craze of studying (read: Sacrifice) wears off, EVERYTHING starts distracting you. Again, this appeals more to the ADD/ADHD types. After a while you are sitting in a stark white room with one desk, one chair and your books. Your life has lost all colour except for the blue pen and the pencil that help you make different points while summarising. Your cellphone is safely tucked away somewhere far away (and on silent). Your laptop, that used to play the soothing sounds that you would study to, is closed. Void of all distractions, yet, you are staring at that one spec on the wall, it looks like it might be moving. You aren’t distracted enough to further the investigation but you are also not motivated enough to not. keep. staring.

Zoning out becomes a sport!

Zoning out becomes a sport!

  • Discipline

It all comes down to this. EVERYTHING in life especially anything of value comes down to discipline. Quite frankly I don’t even have the discipline to give a full entry here.

  • Sacrifice

As you can see so far, everything is sacrificed on the altar of knowledge. Your time, your diet, your butt, your brain, your sanity. This might not be a bad thing, but come on, who are we kidding. Change is only fun when the sacrifice is minimum. Fear of commitment comes to mind…

  • Writing Callus

This is a weird one, but if you do a lot of writing while you study and if you hold your pen like this…

How winners hold it...

How winners hold it.

… then you are bound to have a writing callus. It’s like the annoying friend that always has to come to the parties, cos he has the best music.

  • Understanding

This comes in waves… hello waves and good bye waves. You get full marks for the self evaluation exercise at the end of study unit one – Hello waves. You feel on top of the world! You love this feeling, you write poems and books about this feeling. Eisntein can come and debate about sciencey stuff with you because you have this feeling. Then your results slowly start deteriorating through the semester and by the time you are revising, you suffer from rejection issues due to all the good bye waves. But your revision includes Study Unit One, the one you Aced, and your anticipation of a hello wave of understanding is high, until you realise that you have semi forgotten the work and might have to re-study it all. Good bye wave.


I studied this and have no idea what's going on.

I studied this and have no idea what’s going on.

This might only target a few of you but I am almost sure that any BCom degree student will have at least one subject that has a shit load of formulae. Formulae are the things that are supposed to help you but end up breaking up your marriage and running away with your kids. You see the thing with formulae is that for every variable, you need to UNDERSTAND what part of the equation or story replaces that variable. If your understanding ended on good bye waves then your formulae becomes the monster in all the horror movies. (Also, if you skipped the previous bullet, then you are a bit lost. Just make a base camp here)


  • Study Block

After a certain amount of time, your brain has reached capacity, and is overflowing with knowledge that you have crammed in there just to be able to pass an exam. You sit down on one fated day only to discover that nothing sticks. Your brain has become a Jo-burg CBD taxi with way too many passengers. You try and cram more information into it but it doesn’t work. Like packing for a 5 week vacation in an overnight bag. – Aah vacation… 

Esp. with Jeremy Clarkson in one! Who has space for that mush ego?

Esp. with Jeremy Clarkson in one! Who has space for that much ego?

  • Procrastination

They say that no one cleans a room/ house like someone who is meant to study. Because everything distracts you, you do everything it takes not to have to study.

I haven't had to study in a while... AKA my room is a mess!

I haven’t had to study in a while… AKA my room is a mess!

  • Zzzleep

This is fictitious, you forgot what this is after month 3. The reason… you ended up procrastinating till past your bed time and then finished the study unit, tried to sleep, but woke up for that all important job thing you have. So you become cranky, the study block becomes bigger and you haven’t seen a hello wave in weeks. This is how it all starts…

There is an up side to all this, “I have to study” becomes the ultimate excuse for anything. Shht… You didn’t hear it from me.