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Kinesthetic Learner?

Hiya guys. I'm in a bit of a pickle right now. I'm in my second trimester of uni (repeating 2 units) and I'm really struggling with assignments. A few days ago, I had a good think about one of the lessons I had a few weeks ago about what kind of learners there are and what that means for us as students.

 

ETA: A kinesthetic leaner is someone who learns by physically engaging with the learning material. We are 'do-ers' who learn by doing.

 

I've known that I'm a kinesthetic learner for a while but it wasn't until I really thought about it that I realised how apparent it was throughout my academic life now that I look back at it. I was considered a 'smart' kid in primary but as I transferred to high school I noticed how I started to struggle and I couldn't really keep up. More theory, less prac, y'know? And because I never really put 2 and 2 together, I've never found a study method that worked for me as a kinesthetic learner.

 

So, as I've said, I'm in uni now. And I'm strugglin'. It's a course I really love (one that I started last year after transferring out of another uni) and I really can't wait to delve into the practical units that I'm sure I'll ace, but to get to them, I gotta pass the theory ones first. And that's where my problem lies. I cannot find it in me to sit down and do things like research, essays and synopses. But then if you give me a video to edit or something to draw, I'll happily (and often accidentally) do them for hours without breaks (I just really love making things). I have managed to complete theory assignments that are decent, but they just take me forever to finish. I can only do teeny tiny bits of theory every other day that always ends with me handing it in late.

 

I'm thinking of going part-time for my studying but I'm not too sure. My parents don't know about all this because I don't want to disappoint them (they still have that 'braniac' image of me in their heads). I'm actually going to talk to one of the academic coordinators in a few days so hopefully I can sort something out then.

 

I don't really know what I'm asking here. Study tips? Anyone else the same? Is it me being a diehard kinesthetic learner or could there be something else going on here?

 

Also, asking for help is my weakness. Idk why. Pride? Maybe. I know that there's nothing wrong with asking for help, but a part of me refuses to acknowledge that I ever need assistance, and that I can totally do it on my own. But I'm trying to overcome it. Look, I'm here, aren't I? I just wish I asked for help sooner.

 

TL(sorry!);DR: I'm a hardcore kinesthetic learner and it's really hard for me to get through theory work/assignments. Help?

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Re: Kinesthetic Learner?

Hey there! 

I can reallllly relate to a lot of what you said. I've got one more subject left to finish my degree (after starting at one uni, then transfering to another, and now just finishing one degree instead of my double degree).

 

Going part time is an idea. Have you thought about doing 3 subjects? Technically it still counts as full time (so you are still eligible for concession cards, centrelink etc) and you don't really need to tell people you are going part time because techincally you aren't!! I find 4 subjects too much and 2 not enough, so it's been a perfect balance for me Smiley Happy 

 

I know you said asking for help is hard, but consider registering with the Disability team. At my uni they are called the Disability Liason Unit and I have found them so helpful. Basically they put together a letter for you, and when it comes down to getting extensions or help you don't need to talk things through with your tutor or lecturer you can just give them a copy of the letter or tell them you are registered with the DLU and for them to contact them. I've found them to be so great and they really take the stress out of talking and explaining your situation (and the embarassment or shame about it) over and over again. 

 

As for studying. I HATE studying at uni. I go to a park in summer and in winter I have a favourtie cafe with a comfy couch a mean hot chocolate and cheesecake. I guess because I'm multi-tasking, doing something I enjoy (eating) and I'm not in a stressful place like a library where everyone looks super smart I feel better. So find a place that works for you! We had an academic come to my high school and said one girl couldn't study but he suggested she got in a bathtub filled with stuffed toys and she went from failing to great grades! 

 

From what you've said it seems like you have a lot of essays in your course. Can you ask about alternative assessment? Maybe presentations or something? If not - can you make your notes fun? So coloured paper and pens (for each paragraph or theme in your essay have a different colour! Also makes it easy to find things when you are trying to pull it all together) Sticky notes with key concepts or drawings of the key concepts around the house? For tests colour and drawings and visual reminders can be great so instead of rewriting your notes, or even with making your notes diagrams and drawings! I had a friend who wrote a song to remember verbs in italian, i still use it when I need to think of my irregular verbs! 

 

Lots of breaks! And rewards! If I get through 3 readings, I get a star, when I get 5 stars I get to buy a new ... I am 23 and I still use reward systems for uni because i find it so hard!

 

What are you studying if you don't mind me asking? These are all very general tips.

 

I normally can do well just reading and writing but uni stresses me out a lot as do exams. I can do well the whole semester but i get into an exam room and go blank and fail. Stress and anxiety can contribute to how well or how easy you find studying. 

 

Take care! You can get through it Smiley Very Happy

 

 

 

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Re: Kinesthetic Learner?

Hey @in_the_clouds 

 

Sounds like you've done a fair bit of reflection and understand yourself quite well. I know quite a few people like you who are very smart but struggle with the theory sorta stuff - they thrive when they get a chance to actually apply stuff in a more hands on work. 

 

I think the fact that you've been able to get through it so far is a win for you. Personally, when it comes to really dry subjects, I tend to make a schedule to spread out the work throughout the week. That way I don't spend too much time each session and get restless, I just commit to a certain amount of time like an hour or so here and there. You might also find some stuff from this factsheet on studying and relaxation helpful. 

 

About going part-time - I don't think that this is a bad idea at all! I dropped down to part time study when it all got too overwhelming for me and i'm positive that I wouldn't be doing as well as i've been doing if I stayed full time. Have you considered having a chat with your parents about how you feel? Keep in mind you can always pick up extra units and go back to full time later on!