Getting to know yourself

Can we derive any useful content from this ancient "Socratic" principle, which has been repeated many times and which most often seems to have no practical use?
Getting to know each other

In the context of work methodology for higher education, the answer to this question is yes. Indeed, to have a working method implies to respect a certain number of negative canons. Do not try to summarise the whole course, do not multiply the materials, etc. And positive standards - if only the headings inherent in the methodology, including the memorization. However, it will be up to you alone to make a study system out of these different elements. 

Overcoming false boundaries!

In the final analysis, let us repeat, you will be the sole architect of your working method. Hence the importance of getting to know yourself. Getting to know yourself, from the point of view of academic work, means first of all learning to dispel the pseudo-limitations that are suggested to you, or that you suggest to yourself. What are they? We will take two examples. They are the great absentees of the Cogito method. 

The first example is the length of working periods. You may have already been advised, and I'm sure you will be, to limit your study periods to one-hour blocks. This is because, we are assured, "our mind cannot be truly effective for more than an hour".

Don't believe it. Stopping work means starting again fifteen or thirty minutes later. Anyone who shows a minimum of consideration for the real-life experience of a student knows that getting back to work is, very generally, laborious and a source of frequent postponements and delays. If you stop after an hour, you will have to start again about ten times during the day: that's a lot. This reason alone would be enough to extend the length of your study periods. The main thing, however, is that our minds, our capacity to resist, our temperaments are different. That some students have to stop after an hour is possible, though unfortunate, since written exams rarely last less than two hours. Most of us - and, we bet, with a little practice, you who are reading this - are capable of staying focused and productive for at least an hour and a half to two hours. 

The student-hibs

A second example is the student-hibes, those friendly night guards on university campuses who are convinced that they can only study, or at least study effectively, at night.

This greater effectiveness of night-time study for some students should not be contradicted, especially as it is often the student himself who makes the observation. Perhaps you yourself have to study in a noisy environment which only calms down at nightfall. However, man is a diurnal animal, physiologically programmed to live during the day.

It is therefore not true, apart from the issue of noise, that study is inherently more effective at night. As for noise, it can be dealt with by other means (earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones, retreat to some quiet place, etc.). Above all, the success of an examination session is considered in a global manner, up to and including the session itself: however, examinations take place during the day. 

Jetlagging yourself at the beginning of the session only adds to the zombification inherent in any intensive and prolonged period of study. 

Getting to know each other!

In any case, these aspeThe truth remains that you will be the sole architect of your own working method. This means that you mustlearn to deal with your strengths, your energies, your limits and weaknesses too, by taking care to resist with a critical mind the tsunami of methodological advice which, from the first week of the course, never fails to block the horizon!

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