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Study skills

Studying is a skill you can learn. How do you approach your studies? Do you start on time and use the right strategies to process all that information? Or do you need a little help to improve your study skills? Learn about the (online) workshops and apps that can help and who you can turn to for personal support.

Help during your studies

Are you having problems with your studies? Always let your study adviser or coordinator know as soon as possible. Your study adviser or coordinator is your first point of contact for study-related guidance and advice. You can turn to them with both practical and personal issues. 

Study choice and career questions

Maybe you have questions about study choices and future career, for example, which direction you should take in your bachelor studies or which master’s programme you should choose? The Career Service can offer guidance. Each faculty has its own Career Service.

Boost your study skills at the online ePOPcorner

Do you want to study more efficiently? Do you want to learn how to retain information better? Would you like to be better prepared for exams? And how can you draw up a realistic study plan? The ePOPcorner offers a range of online study skills workshops for all Leiden University students. Each workshop is about one hour long but you can complete it in your own time.  

Study skills workshops

Would you rather take part in a group workshop under the guidance of a trainer? There are monthly group study skills workshops available on topics such as effective studying, dealing with exam stress and fear of failure, thesis writing and time management.

Learning how to learn

Want to find out more about how to improve your study skills? Coursera offers a highly informative course entitled Learning how to learn. You can follow the course free of charge if you opt not to receive a certificate at the end.

10 tips for studying at home

Due to COVID-19 studying gets even more challenging than before. All classes are online, and facilities such as the library and study rooms have limited access. How do you keep yourself motivated? These tips can help you to feel better ánd to motivate yourself for your studies!

Get up at a normal time in the morning, for example at 7.30 or 8.00 am. Take a shower, get dressed, make yourself a good breakfast and get started on your day. It might be very tempting to stay in your pajamas the whole day, but you will see that you feel better the moment you take a shower and get dressed. It will also help you to get more into a study rhythm. Do you find it hard to get started and do you often procrastinate? Take a look at the e-healthprogram of Caring Universities.

Set up areas in your room that you only use for specific purposes. So create a study area, a sleeping area and a relaxation area. This will help your brain to keep you structured and to switch between ‘work mode’, ‘sleep mode’ and ‘chill mode’.

Make a list of your tasks, prioritise them and plan your tasks in blocks during the day. Plan realistically! Make sure you plan enough time for your tasks. If you think that reading an article would take you one hour, plan 1.5 hours for it. Also, plan other non-study related tasks such as doing groceries, cooking, cleaning, exercise etc. Need more professional help to improve your study and planning skills? Scroll up this webpage and you will find multiple sources who can help you out.

Make time for mini breaks and longer breaks. Make sure you leave your work place every hour for at least one minute to get a cup of coffee or tea, or for a bathroom break. Take a longer break of at least 15 minutes every two hours. During longer breaks, also take a digital break, i.e. don’t check your social media or Whatsapp, to give your brain a proper rest. 

Taking some fresh air helps your brain to reset and walking is a great way to process the information that you have taken in during the previous few hours. Do you already know the app Ommetje by Erik Scherder? This will help you to take a walk regularly whilst challenging yourself and your friends!

If you find it hard to motivate yourself, get in touch with a friend or study mate and help each other to get working on your tasks. If you are facing study-related or well-being difficulties, you can also discuss these with your friend, study mate or a professional. Sharing is caring! You are not alone. Visit this page to find out who can help and support you.

Staying inside so much can make it tempting to lie around on the couch watching a series and eating chocolate or crisps. But your body and mind will feel way better if you do some exercise. This could be a walk outside, a visit to the gym, a yoga class or other types of sport. If you find it hard to motivate yourself to do sports, find a friend who can join you.

Do you recognise the feeling of being constantly worried? Make agreements with yourself and plan specific ‘worry moments’. During these moments, for example, every day between 12:00 and 12:20, your brain can worry all it likes. At other times of day, allow yourself to notice your worries but then park them until your next 'worry moment'. Does worrying get in your way and do you not know how to deal with it? Visit this page to find out who can help and support you.

It is good to follow the news and your friends through social media. However, it can also distract you from your tasks and before you know it, one hour has passed by and you haven't done any studying. Limit your (social) news intake moments to specific times of day. Outside of those times, it helps to switch off notifications for your emails, social media accounts and to prevent distraction.

Music is great. It can help you to get into a certain mood, for example the right mood to study. Use happy and active music to get yourself motivated and feeling positive. There are a variety of other ways to help create a positive mindset. Take a look at the Moodpep e-health programme by Caring Universities and discover how you can improve your mood.

Have a good suggestion? Let us know.

Do you have a good suggestion concerning how to improve student well-being? Let us know by sending a mail to: studentwellbeing@sea.leidenuniv.nl.

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