Studying and Recovery.

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Studying and Recovery.

Postby Henri » Thu Aug 20, 2009 3:19 pm

I am at university, planning on returning soon - after my 21st birthday, which is tomorrow - for my second year. I passed my first year after missing a lot of the year due to glandular fever, and I am still recovering from that; the constant fatigue still plagues me at the moment, but hopefully I will have recovered soon.

As many of you will know as disabled people, we often have to work harder in order for our accomplishments to be noticed, and to complete our tasks at the standard which is expected of us and society at large. I am determined to succeed academically, and upon entering the second year of university - the one where the grades begin to count - I have developed a rigorous and intensive schedule upon which to do this, but one which, nevertheless, I have reservations about.

A typical day would be like this:

6:00am - wake up, get clean and dressed, eat breakfast.
6:30am - leave for university.
7:00am - arrive at the library, and begin working on a carefully planned selection of study topics.
10:00am - lecture.
11:00 - am, 15 minute rest, then return to the library.
2:00pm - lunch.
2:30pm - return to the library.
8:00pm - finish studying, go to the gym.
9:00pm - return home.
9:30pm - prepare for bed, and plan tomorrow's study material, and goals.
10:30pm - sleep.

And repeat, naturally.

I am hoping that I will be able to carry this out with minimal damage to my physical condition or psychological welfare. The reason this has been devised is simply because I believe that I cannot succeed without a schedule like this.

Tell me your opinion, it is much valued.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby kerrianne92 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:25 pm

I know looking at the time table if it was for me I would probaly need more breaks because of having quite a short attention span and tending to get bored quite quickly, but if your fine with being able to sit still and concentrate then Yeah it is a good idea to follow a detailed schedule.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Dan » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:46 pm

Are you at Reading university? If so, I'm going there. :)

RE the thread: I find it hard to follow schedules and that schedule seems too weighted to academic stuff, where's the time for some relaxation?
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Alice » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:21 pm

If you study too hard you'll use up all your brains processing power and not be able to do anymore. I did that last year, my parents and one of my teachers told me to stop because I couldn't hold a propper conversation, my brain was just processing and sorting all the information I was trying to cram into it. Not only that, it didn't work in the end.

Don't overdo it. You need time to let everything sink in and for the last stages of learning stuff to happen in the background.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Brian » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:41 pm

Looking at your timetable,I think 5 and half hours study a day maybe a bit too much. Also I think you may need to take a supplement to make you recover better if you are going to the gym and following that timetable.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Danni » Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:55 pm

I couldn't manage that even if I was in perfect health. I'd need more time to relax, to de-stress. Also, I need at least 8 hours sleep. If you're still recovering from glandular fever, you'll need more time to rest. 11 1/4 hours of study on top of lectures means you are going out, not might. Going to the gym as well will probably result in you becoming ill very quickly on top.

You need more relaxation, and less time studying. A lot less time studying. You should be looking at 40 hours maximum including lectures over the entire week. If you really only have one lecture a day, you'd be doing 61 1/4 hours over 5 days. That's crazy. Of course, you're meant to do some studying over the weekend, but that comes out of the 40 hours so you do less each day.

I'd like to see another timetable, one that includes time off and relaxation and probably more sleep, but definitely less studying. I don't want you to make yourself ill.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby parnassus » Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:51 pm

It looks as though you put this timetable together when you were worrying about the work that you missed when you were ill. It is never a good idea to create study timetables when you're already feeling anxious about work, as the goals you set will be unrealistic and you will only end up feeling worse when you don't meet them.

I think you should look at your schedule when you're calmer and ask why you've put each of those things in there. Is it really necessary to go to the gym on most days? If your head answers 'yes', then why do you think that?

You also need to pencil in time for rest. Half an hour for lunch is nowhere near enough - you should give yourself a full hour and increase the number of short breaks that you allow yourself during the day. Your brain and your body both need it. You will only make yourself unwell again if you push yourself too hard. And as Danni says, that timetable would be impossible for most people to follow even if they were in the peak of health.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Steph » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:10 pm

I agree with the others-this sort of schedule will lead to mental and physical burnout rapidly, particularly in someone who is already fatigued.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Star » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:05 am

I think that like everyone else has suggested, you need to take more time out to relax. Maybe join a society and university? Something fun that you like. Also try to get more sleep and take more breaks throughout the day. University isn't just about studying it's about having fun as well. Factor in some fun time as well as work.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Henri » Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:50 pm

It looks as though you put this timetable together when you were worrying about the work that you missed when you were ill. It is never a good idea to create study timetables when you're already feeling anxious about work, as the goals you set will be unrealistic and you will only end up feeling worse when you don't meet them.


That is not the case at all. I did formulate a study timetable for when I returned and was due to sit my exams, but, I was more concerned about recovery then, as it was much closer to the date I was diagnosed. I did the minimum I needed to pass my exams and to ensure a good recovery. I now feel that as it is the second year, the dedication to studying must be increased.

I think you should look at your schedule when you're calmer and ask why you've put each of those things in there. Is it really necessary to go to the gym on most days? If your head answers 'yes', then why do you think that?


I find that comment extremely condescending; implicit in it is the assumption that I am a hasty decision-maker, unable to consider and weight the consequences and motivations behind my actions. It is good to remember who we are speaking to on DT. Each of these is carefully considered and was calculated to achieve certain ends. This is a time-table tailored to maximise the probability that I will be able to achieve academically. Dyspraxic people, often possessed of great talent and insight in many different fields, find it difficult to apply our gifts to work and to produce solid, strong performances, especially in an academic setting. This is why we must work ten times as hard as anyone else, and I have a strong desire to fulfill my potential; this timetable is merely a means to that end.

You also need to pencil in time for rest. Half an hour for lunch is nowhere near enough - you should give yourself a full hour and increase the number of short breaks that you allow yourself during the day. Your brain and your body both need it. You will only make yourself unwell again if you push yourself too hard. And as Danni says, that timetable would be impossible for most people to follow even if they were in the peak of health.


I may be more flexible with the amount of time designated for breaks. Once I have established a routine, it seems sensible to attempt to gauge how much rest I need, if any. I remember Noah Weinberg stating that tiredness should not be a factor if we genuinely enjoy our work, and when it sets in, do not take a rest, but move to a different area of the work. I think that is sensible advice.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Alice » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:05 pm

Effects on your mental health aside (after all, if your brain is anything like mine, it'll just shut down and physically prevent you from learning anything untill it's dealt with the pile up of information), your intention is unclear. What are you trying to accieve?

Most pepole study as a means to an end. For me, the end is knowlage and understanding of the world. If I don't enjoy the understanding, or retain the knowlage in the long term, it's pointless. For others it's a job, they want to study to get qualifications for a job they will enjoy. If they struggle too hard, and refuse to take it at their own pace, they won't get to the point where they are ready to cope with that job.

There are lots of reasons pepole want to study, but I've never met anyone who's seen good grades as their overall ambition. You mentioned having to work harder so your achivements will be recognised. But you didn't say who you wanted to recognise them or what that recognition will accieve.

Call it patronising if you like, but I don't think you even know why your planning to give up months of your life. Your blindly panicing, without assesing the situation clearly, and convincing yourself that you've made an informed decission when you haven't. You, or your parents, or someone, else have decided that to succeed is to get a certain score in every exam. But so long as you do well enough to continue your studies, theres really nothing wrong with a slower pace.

Nothing will be acchieved by studying so obsessivley. You won't retain the knowlage after the exams, you won't enjoy your time at university, and you certainly won't recover (my friend ended up with chronic fatigue or whatever it's called from pushing herself too hard while recovering from quite a mild illness). Decide what you want that you are studying for not what you think is"the standard which is expected of us and society at large" and then reread the childs story of the tortise and the hare. If you just keep going steddily, you'll get there allot faster than studying till you burn out and then waiting to recover from that.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Henri » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:48 am

Well, this surely is the most inconsiderate, inaccurate and stupidity-heavy response I have ever had on Dyspraxic Teens.


Most pepole study as a means to an end. For me, the end is knowlage and understanding of the world. If I don't enjoy the understanding, or retain the knowlage in the long term, it's pointless. For others it's a job, they want to study to get qualifications for a job they will enjoy. If they struggle too hard, and refuse to take it at their own pace, they won't get to the point where they are ready to cope with that job.




There are lots of reasons pepole want to study, but I've never met anyone who's seen good grades as their overall ambition. You mentioned having to work harder so your achivements will be recognised. But you didn't say who you wanted to recognise them or what that recognition will accieve.


Grades are not my overall ambition, and I never said they were. It should be clear to you that grades are an essential short-term goal necessary for the fulfillment of a long-term plan. I really don't think you should respond if such simple precepts are beyond you.

Call it patronising if you like, but I don't think you even know why your planning to give up months of your life. Your blindly panicing, without assesing the situation clearly, and convincing yourself that you've made an informed decission when you haven't. You, or your parents, or someone, else have decided that to succeed is to get a certain score in every exam. But so long as you do well enough to continue your studies, theres really nothing wrong with a slower pace.


Who are you to comment, so derisively, on the intentions behind my actions? You do not eve know me or my background, so to come to such assumptions shows either a deficient awareness of other people's feelings, or an over-developed ego which thinks they can judge everything about others with little or no information.

"Your blindly panicing, without asesing the situation clearly, and convincing yourself you've made an informed decision when you haven't"

The arrogance in this statement literally makes me feel nauseous. The way you state, with absolute conviction and certainty, like you are a close friend or relative, is most patronising and displeasing. But you know that already, don't you? That's why you said : "Call it patronising if you like", as if to imply that you are aware of your insulting comments, but still chose to make them anyway. Disgusting. My decisions are always informed and calculated.

"You, or your parents, or someone, else have decided that to succeed is to get a certain score in every exam."

Actually my parent - yes, singular not plural - did not place emphasis on academic work at all. I failed my GCSEs when I was sixteen, another course after that, then did 4 A-levels in one year to enter university. I am now twenty-one and heading into my second year. All of this was done by my own initiative; I am not someone who finds themselve at university after being pushed and pressured through the education system by their parents. The reasons behind this are crystal-clear and have been since I made the decision to even go to university, and are a step on the road to a longer-term set of goals.

Your behaviour really is insulting. I suggest you change it before you meet people who are going to be much less tolerant of it than I am.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby parnassus » Wed Sep 02, 2009 8:05 pm

I think you should look at your schedule when you're calmer and ask why you've put each of those things in there. Is it really necessary to go to the gym on most days? If your head answers 'yes', then why do you think that?


I find that comment extremely condescending; implicit in it is the assumption that I am a hasty decision-maker, unable to consider and weight the consequences and motivations behind my actions. It is good to remember who we are speaking to on DT.


I wasn't thinking about impulsivity at all when I asked that question. I was thinking about all the possible things that could drive somebody to want to work out at the gym on most days, which could include stress, burnout, overdependence on routine (usually caused by anxiety), or an eating disorder. In my case, it was all of these things. I used to cycle for twenty miles on an exercise bike, morning and evening, and walk a minimum of ten miles each day because a.) it made me feel better emotionally and b.) I genuinely believed that the exercise was making me more productive overall. I had to learn to challenge those ideas. No amount of academic intelligence, good judgement, or foresight can immunize you against that kind of thinking. It can affect anyone. As mental health problems are more prevalent in the dyspraxic population, you have spoken in the past about suffering from depression and low self-esteem, and you are recovering from a pretty gruelling physical illness, it isn't unreasonable or condescending for people to look at the timetable that you've drawn up for yourself and wonder if you're OK. The fact that you feel patronised suggests that you see something shameful in the very suggestion that you might not be. I don't see anything shameful about it at all, which is why I wouldn't hesitate to bring it up with anyone if I felt concerned. And I do mean anyone. "It is good to remember who we are speaking to on DT," suggests that while the poor unfortunates on here might need that type of advice, you don't. When I'm on here I never assume that anyone is above stress or anxiety.

That is not the case at all. I did formulate a study timetable for when I returned and was due to sit my exams, but, I was more concerned about recovery then, as it was much closer to the date I was diagnosed. I did the minimum I needed to pass my exams and to ensure a good recovery. I now feel that as it is the second year, the dedication to studying must be increased.


I'm glad that you took the time to rest after you were diagnosed with the fever, but please remember that none of us could tell that from your original post. To us it looked as though you had been diagnosed with a debilitating illness and were diving straight back into work. People gave the advice that they did because they were concerned to read this. I would have found it odd if they hadn't been.

As for dedication, it can take many forms. During my second year at university I only went to three lectures (and I left one of those halfway through). I was too anxious to sit in a crowded room. I was also very tired and long hours at the desk didn't come naturally any more. For me, dedication meant intensive weekly therapy, regular meetings with my Director of Studies, and somehow managing to dredge up the humility to ask for help with basic things like being sure that I had clean clothes to wear to my exams. I have never been more dedicated to study than I was in that year, but were I to calculate how long I spent doing what most people would consider to be work, it wouldn't look like it. I'm not saying that you have these problems - I'm just pointing out that the most helpful things you can do for yourself aren't always the most obvious.

I hope you can see the points that I was trying to make.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Alice » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:36 pm

Henri wrote: Your behaviour really is insulting. I suggest you change it before you meet people who are going to be much less tolerant of it than I am.


I'm sorry you felt hurt, but you seem to be completley misunderstanding me.

I see what I see and I was raised not to lie. I also beleive that to say nothing to someone who can be helped by advice that you feel you are in a position to give is also moraly dubious. I don't need so many friends that I will settle for being tollerated. You are the first person to take my concern in any way other than the manner it was intended. So no, I won't change.

Thankyou for your advice anyway. I'm sure it wasn't intended as it came across.

I don't know why you asked for opinions, if you already have so much confidence in your decisions, but that is something for you to be concerned with not me.

Perhaps I really am wrong about how you really came to your decision, but you've made a fair few assumptions about my reasoning too so I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the conclusions I reach. I did not make assumptions about your background as you seem to think, I do not have a deficient awareness of how you may be feeling, and the fact that certain grades are needed to accieve what you want is not beyond me.

I'm very sorry for anything that could have been taken as offensive in what I posted. I'm not going to say I'm tollerent or that other pepole are going to dislike you, because neither is at all true. Your attituede offends me, personally. Especially the fact that you didn't think that would be enough to make me apologise to you.
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Re: Studying and Recovery.

Postby Henri » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:45 pm

Looking back after having completed my second year, I feel that this schedule was in many ways unrealistic, depending on the nature of the work I needed to do. For instance, the main distinction I noticed - and perhaps should have predicted this beforehand - was that I was able to 'work' gruelling hours when it was my reading that needed doing, but not on essays. This is because I probably would have been reading anyway if I hadn't have had work to do! About the exercise, I managed about four times a week during the first term and twice during the second and third. I realised that this is all I need, and I have now integrated exercise into my routine as part an effective, but not brutal, regime.

I fully understand your point now Vicky, and I apologise for my hasty and abrupt - and somewhat arrogant - response; you were just offering sound advice, not condemning me individually in any way. Alice, the same applies to you, and thank you for your time in responding. It makes me feel silly that I couldn't perceive that properly, but then again that is part of being Dyspraxic.
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