Vacation is over, and in many cases, with back to school comes very little sleep. As awful as not sleeping much is, a lot of teenagers seem to have a problem with it. Their fatigue spills over into the next day, and they struggle to stay awake in class. How does one prevent missing an important class because they’re falling asleep?
I’m sure you’ve heard of it, the static-y background noise used to block out distracting sounds to facilitate sleep or concentration. It was introduced to me by my engineer father when he was studying for some exam he had a few years ago, and I’ve used it ever since.
Upon doing some research, I’ve found that there are actually different types of noise. The names, all colours, respond to their frequencies and each one is best for a different type of noise.
White noise has the same amount of energy across its frequency bands, making it the flattest sounding one. It’s versatile and works for blocking out particularly loud noises, especially if they all happen at once, like the noise of a big city.
Pink noise was created to sound balanced to human ears and contains an equal amount of energy in each octave. Pink noise has more emphasis on lower frequencies and is good for relaxing while staying alert. This makes it helpful for studying.
Brown noise contains the lowest frequencies and is useful for blocking out deep, rumbling noises. Put on some brown noise to calm babies or pets during particularly loud thunderstorms or if you happen to live near a train station.
Each person responds to noises differently, and what you find soothing someone else might find irritating. For this reason it might be worth it to take a few minutes to figure out which works best for you.
I have definitely found that my study and sleep quality improves drastically when I have white noise playing in the background.
Even with my many years of school experience, it’d be hard for me to give an exact solution to this issue. This semester, however, I’m determined to raise my grades as high as I possibly can and so I spent the last week of my vacation preparing.
Step 1 was to find my motivation. Personally, I find it difficult to get anything done if I don’t know what I’m working towards. So I created a sort of moodboard. I printed out pictures that represent things I’d like to achieve (the logo of my dream university, for example) and put them up above my desk where I do all my school work. Whenever I feel discouraged I can just look up and be reminded of what I’m looking forward to.
Step 2 was to get organized. I sat down for a few hours and made a study schedule. I took note of the subjects that would need more attention from me and gave more time to those. I made sure to leave some space for relaxation and family, though it was a tight squeeze.
Step 3 is really a work in progress: stay focused, stay motivated, stay on task. It’s easy to start off on the right track and then fall off the wagon a few weeks in. I definitely have a problem staying consistent, and it shows in my grades. I’ll do extremely well on one test and then almost terrible on the next and my teachers seem to be at their wits end trying to figure me out. A lot of it comes down to me procrastinating and not allowing enough time for myself to get things done. These are things I’m hoping to improve.
Admittedly, it might be almost too late for me to be stepping up, but better late than never, right?
These steps might not work for everyone. It’s up to you to figure out what works for you, but feel free to take inspiration from me or anyone else. There’s no right or wrong way to get yourself focused.