When our mind keeps wandering and when nothing seems to get in our head there is only one thing that can get worse: to find out that you forgot everything that you have learned. Why does this happen ? Is the time spent lost and is this a natural thing to happen ? Let’s find out.
A frequent problem that arises for those that study is that after the first read of the material they don’t recall anything of it. Panic installs itself, but let’s stop for a minute and think about it. There’s no way to forget what they previously learned. They forgot, that’s normal, but after correctly repeating the material they would see that the situation wasn’t as hopeless as they thought it was.
If this ever happens to you, don’t get discouraged and think about the lost time. Remember that if the material is unfamiliar to you, it may take longer for it to settle in, so to speak, rather than the case if it was known to you, like if you have studied it sometime in the past.
But what’s happening ? Let’s call it “study shock”, meaning a general confusion and resistance towards learning. But don’t worry, this will go away as the material and ideas get more and more familiar for you. Forgetting something after reading it for the first time is a natural reaction of the memory, because it is stressed too much. But still, repeating the material will show you that you have learned many things from it, being the main points and important details of the said material.
How to prevent forgetting something we are interested in ? You can firstly focus on the main ideas rather than details. These are what need to remain in your memory no matter what happens and will act as a foundation for the latter readings. So don’t rush after this stage and focus on the main ideas.
Another thing is that the sheer volume is way too big to learn on one go. You can’t do this, because you will have the tendency to try to learn everything instead of learning the right way. So try learning a little bit at the beginning, but right, on the line of two or three pages per day. This is just the beginning, because you will need subsequent readings of the material, after which new links will be formed and the knowledge will last more.
Some other tips are to put yourself in complex situations regarding the material. Ask yourself questions like “why”, “how”. Look for clues, arguments or even try modifying the data of an issue (facts, numbers, etc) and work on it.
But there’s no bigger tip for me to give you than to think of the material as something that will benefit you beyond graduation, no matter what you will be studying. Think of it as in investment in yourself and your future so that you will have an edge over the competition.