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Jodie Brazil Jun 20, 2020

Hello! I'm glad for the opportunity to share how I'm trying to make a study habit this quarantine! It's tricky, but I guess I have to develop these 10 little steps for my studying improvements.

1. Wake up early every day so that I will have extra time for myself. This is the time for my reflection, meditation, or the perfect time for reading a book and writing something on my journal. It will basically give me a start up feeling before I could jump up to my studying routines. I could exercise, do some cleaning and fixing up, or even stare blankly out of the window. Well, it's a time for myself and solitude.

2. Give myself a delightful breakfast, those that could make me full and energized so that I can go through the entire morning of studying. These times that we aren't allowed to go to school, it is still crucial to eat the most important meal of the day. Studying at home instead of in a real school environment can be a little bit tricky, and we couldn't make this as an excuse for not having the usual breakfast at a certain time we do when we're about to go to school.

3. I have to think that studying at home requires effort just like how I put effort in studying at school. I have to study at my usual class schedule, so that I will not get lost when the school starts again.

4. I gotta clean my work/study space beforehand so that I could begin seamlessly. This must be my entire responsibility so that when the school starts again, I will never get out from a clean desk, and whenever I get home from school, there's not much cleaning to do and the only thing I have to do is study. Also, I have to get rid of doing things on my bed, instead think of it as a reward after my study hours. It must be a sanctuary and a place of resting, and it shouldn't be cluttered.

5. Whether in school or inside the house, I should never skip my meals. It is easy to skip meals in school because there were times that the breaks were used as time to finish a deadline, and I swear I will always make a little time to eat during those circumstances at school.

6. I will never procrastinate again. I will finish a deadline always ahead of time, and dedicate my Sundays as a time for rest, family, and recreational activities. I will finish everything up until Saturdays so that I can freely spend my Sundays with myself and the ones I care the most.

7. I should never limit myself on a studying technique, because different courses demand different approaches. Actually, I always have been flexible in studying and reviewing my notes because there are certain strategies that work best on a course that I am reviewing.

8. Always, always learn to value the time and manage it accordingly. Of course, life doesn't revolve around studying, there must be a time for social things, for family, or even a day for just lazing around. For all the hard work I've been through, it's safe to say that I deserve a break. So balancing between study works, social life, family, and recreational is a must.

9. Don't stress too much on things that I can never change. I am doing my best, so I must be confident that when I fail, there's a lesson to accumulate. Studying isn't always about being the best, or standing out. But it is also a chance for leaping a faith, and learning to fail. I mean, put your faith on everything you do, that it has your best, and you work hard for it. And it means, either you succeed or fail, there's always something to get on both ends. It's either a gratification or a life-long lesson. And failure is not the end of everything!

10. Trust Jesus in everything. I know and felt Him every time I was in my lowest, and He never failed to get me up. He's my savior and I will never get tired of trusting on Him about everything. He's the real teacher of all time. Thank you if it will be posted! ??

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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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