It’s normal for me as a student to not feel like studying. I am someone who usually waits for the deadline for a project, or exams next week to feel like studying. However, I know that it’s not really good. I actually changed this habit mid-college and was able to graduate with honors. I’ve experienced both sides of the spectrum. So in this article, I am going to explain if it is normal to not feel like studying.
It is normal to not feel like studying. The reason for this is because we are all human and we just have days that we don’t feel like doing anything. Another reason might be that your subject is difficult. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t do something to force ourselves into studying.
Furthermore, I would also like to give few tips on how to start studying even if you don’t feel like it. If you don’t really feel like studying, then it is actually normal as we are all human and we can all have bad days. So, we are going to explain more in this topic within this article as we will discuss the reasons why we don’t feel like studying, and how to make ourselves feel like studying if needed.
Is it OK to not feel like studying?
It is ok to not feel like studying. This is because we are all human and our mood always swings. Furthermore, you also might not feel like studying because the subject you’re studying doesn’t really interest you. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t force yourself into studying.
In fact, being not in the mood to study is an early indicator that something is wrong and must be changed.
Furthermore, as someone who was addicted to gaming way back, I also know that distractions can be a big problem when it comes to studying.
The reason is that there are just things to do that are more rewarding.
We humans are not really good at thinking of future rewards, we want to get the best reward right here, and right now.
That’s why it is hard to force someone into investing, or why is it hard to prepare for your future such as studying.
For most of us, it is way better to just think of the immediate rewards such as eating junk foods instead of dieting.
That is the same for studying. Studying is something that we would use for our future. It might be that your subject would be used 4 years from now.
For most students, the only reason to study is to pass the exams. However, it is not very rewarding.
Thus, I remember when I was a student, I would just like to play on my computer because studying is very boring.
But winning on games or even the anticipation of playing is way more rewarding than studying.
However, that’s not your fault. That is how we are designed and we would find ways later for us to start feeling like studying again.
If you’re interested in how to study effectively, then I recommend you read another article I made where I gave tips on how to be an effective hardworking student. You will start to learn more things with less time if you get some of the tips in that article. Here is the link if you’re interested: How to Be a Hardworking Student
The next section would be the reasons why we feel so unmotivated to study.
Why do I feel so unmotivated to study?
There are 3 reasons why you feel so unmotivated to study. The first reason is that you don’t like the subject you’re studying. The second reason is that you think that the subject might be too hard for you to study. The third is that there are more rewarding distractions around.
1. The subject you’re studying is Difficult
One of the reasons why you feel so unmotivated to study might be that the subject you’re studying is too difficult.
Starting to study is very hard. Plus, if you think that what you’re studying is very difficult, it can be harder to start studying.
While this is the case, it is also good to note that there are times where we just think that things are difficult.
There are just moments that we underestimate our abilities. Sometimes, we just find that we don’t have the skills to learn the subject.
When I was in college, I have a subject like this. It’s called Pharmacology. When I was studying that subject, I just feel like it’s very hard. So, there are just that I didn’t felt like studying because I feel like I’m going to fail anyway.
But you know what? I passed the subject.
In fact, at that time, I think that if I will just do my best, I would accept whatever the result is.
I’m glad that I passed that subject. But it was so hard.
2. The subject you’re studying is too boring
Sometimes, it might be that the subject is just too boring for you to study. There are always times where you don’t like the subject you’re studying.
Well as a student, there will always be subjects that are too boring.
Sometimes, you start questioning why this is included in your curriculum.
For example, for someone in the Medical Field, we are always surprised that there are lots of math involved in our course.
But nevertheless, the subject being boring might be one of the reasons why you find it hard to study.
What worked for me when I’m in this situation is to use temptation bundling which I will discuss later.
3. There are more rewarding Distractions Around
This might’ve been one of the hardest ones for me to overcome.
I said that there are just times where we just don’t feel like studying. However, if you find out that you’re always not in the mood to study, then most likely this is the case.
The fact about life is that there are lots of distractions around us. And when these distractions fragment our will to study, then we would just be unmotivated.
For example, when I was a student, computer games were my biggest distraction. I could just play all day without regard to anything including my studies.
When this happened, I was very unmotivated to study every time since all I think about was the distraction.
There are many forms of distraction and most of them are more rewarding than studying.
The reason is what I’ve discussed earlier about we prefer having fun right now than work for our future.
Studying is working for our future. We study to improve our careers. That’s why it is hard to study because we aren’t seeing results as of now. And it can take 4 – 5 years just to see the fruits of our labor.
Distractions on the other hand are fun right now. Seeing pictures of your friends on social media, winning computer games, and socializing with your friends is way more fun than studying.
What I did that time was to uninstall my games and block my social media apps when I’m on exam week. They are just too tempting.
However, all hope is not lost. We are going to discuss in the next section how to make yourself feel like studying.
How do you make yourself feel like studying?
I have provided 5 ways in order for you to force yourself into studying. These tips are very helpful especially both for the short term and for the long term of your career as a student. I know how hard it is to make yourself feel like studying. Thus, I’ve made this section. However, I want to give you the best way I’ve done that works every time I don’t feel like doing anything which includes studying.
The simplest method to make yourself feel like studying is to do temptation bundling. Temptation bundling is a concept in which you are going to bundle up the things you like and don’t like such as treating yourself after forcing yourself to study.
Thus, temptation bundling is really helpful if you want to study as fast as possible. The method works even if you really don’t want to feel like studying as we’ll explain later.
For now, let me introduce you to 5 ways you can overcome the feeling of not wanting to study.
1. Think of the Importance of Studying the Subject
This method is actually the hardest to do but once you’ve done it, it can last a very long time.
Think of the importance of what you’re studying. The simplest reason is actually to pass your quiz or exams. But that’s the most shallow reason.
But this shallow reason actually works very well especially if you don’t really want to fail your subject. This is a quick way to force yourself to study.
However, as I said, it is quite hard to do this, and doing this might make you prone to procrastination like I once did.
2. Divide the subject into Smaller Subjects
Another reason why you don’t feel like studying is that the subject is too hard, or maybe you think of it as too hard.
While we can’t change the topic you’re studying since that would be what’s present in your test or exam, we can make it easier by dividing the subject.
Think of it this way.
Instead of thinking that you’re going to read 5 chapters of the book, why not just think that you’re just going to read 1 chapter and divide it into 5 days.
That way, it wouldn’t be as daunting as studying 5 chapters instantly.
It’s the same with what I’m doing while writing this article, I just told myself that I would just write 1 paragraph and I am almost done writing because I’m now in the momentum.
The thing here is that you lessen the hardest part of studying which is to start. I know how hard it is to start studying since we might come up with lots of excuses.
But by making it smaller or dividing the subject, it would be easier to start.
3. Find a reason to love the subject
Finding your reason to love the subject is one of the most effective ways to be motivated in studying for the long term.
If you are studying medicine, then you may find the reason that you really want to be a doctor. That’s why you’re studying.
Or you are doing this because you love your parents who work hard just to put you into school.
There are many ways for you to find your reason to love your subject.
Start to think of your loved ones, dreams, goals, and many more.
In fact, you might have a reason that’s quite unique.
For me, one of my reason to study is that I love the solitude and quiet it brings when I study. The thing is I love to study alone. This is why I even made a guide on how to do it.
If you are interested in studying alone and its benefits, then I recommend you to also read my article discussing the benefits of studying alone. Here is the link: how do you study secretly
4. Lighten up your Mood
We are emotional creatures. Our moods always change and so is our motivation.
In fact, I’ve discussed more this topic and how to be motivated for longer periods in another article.
But here is my point.
There are just days where we don’t feel like doing things. When this happens, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself because this just happens.
What you can do to help in these situations is to start fixing your day.
You might not be in the mood to study because something bad happened or whatever it is that made your mood change.
So, light up your mood by doing something that would cheer you up. You can start treating yourself to some food or drink.
You can also socialize with your friends to have a lighter mood.
Maybe, once your mood is better, your motivation to study would come back.
Anyway, if you’re interested in the power of how to stay motivated for very long periods, then I recommend you to read this article where I explained motivation as a mental state: Is Motivation Mental or Emotional?
5. Temptation Bundling
Temptation bundling was one of my favorite techniques when I’m in the mood to do anything which includes studying.
Bundling means that we are going to put something we like and don’t like together.
For example, when I was a student, I did this by saying that if I pass the quiz today, I will treat myself to some tea.
That was very effective and was able to help me study because I was always anticipating my reward.
I have a friend where he put gummy bears on his book. Whenever he is reading paragraphs with a gummy bear, he would eat one. It helped him read a lot and also graduated with honors.
It can also be something simpler such as watching a movie after studying.
Temptation bundling is very effective if we’re talking about forcing ourselves to study. Thus, this is the simplest of them but very effective.
Now, it’s your turn. Even if you don’t feel like studying, it is completely fine. What matters is that you know that it is normal to have days like that and know how to handle the situation.