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8 Tips To Avoid The Fall Slump In Your Studies

You are confused, maybe even bored a little. You started a new class a few weeks ago, for the new school year, and you already feel overwhelmed. You were so excited about this new online class because you really wanted to learn something new, but you now struggle to do your homework or review before the following class, which makes you feel like you are not progressing the way you should. What is going on? If this sounds like you, read on - we have solutions!

We know how it goes: at the end of the summer, we get (more or less!) ready to go back to school and resume our study routine for the Fall. There is usually some excitement that comes with that time of year because it feels like a new start, a new beginning, and a new opportunity to learn. The start of a new class is generally very motivating, but as the weeks go by, we might experience a slump, especially when it just happens to be the Fall season, perhaps because days are starting to get shorter, the weather gets a little gloomy and cold, and there are a lot of germs going around!

This year let's shake things up and get ready for a productive Fall season with your new class insha'Allah with these 8 tips to avoid the Fall slump in your studies!

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1. Set your expectations right

We live in a day and age when the need for instant gratification is everywhere and can easily spoil our progress in life. Nowadays, it is so easy to get things done: groceries from your phone delivered directly to your door, super-fast shipping that prevents you from looking forward and anticipating your order anxiously (oh, it's already here I guess..!), little devices that you can voice command to turn lights on and off, applications that use Wi-Fi to allow you to set the ideal temperature in your home before you even get there, social media accounts that constantly have new things to share. Do we keep going?

Then comes your class: after three lessons, you wonder when you will finally be able to have a conversation with a native Arabic speaker, but you can barely pronounce half of the letters of the Arabic alphabet. Do you see the very first issue that we need to address?

Your learning will take time, and that's normal. Be realistic about how fast you can progress, and do not expect your teacher to do miracles if you are not putting in the work.

That first tip was a little harsh, but we all need a good reminder.


2. Put in the work

Learning something new requires consistent work on the student's part. You can't just sit in a lesson and expect everything to flow into your brain and stick; you have to be willing to put in the work it takes to learn and retain the language. Do your homework, review what you have learned before each lesson, and be honest with your teacher about what you need help with.


3. Set a schedule and stick to it

Sometimes we have all the good intentions in the world to put in the work for a class, but we need a little more organization to actually motivate us to do what is needed. Try to set a study schedule for yourself and do your best to stick to it.


4. Establish a study space

Along with setting a study schedule to keep yourself accountable in-between classes, make sure that you have a good study space to do your homework and review your lessons. A clutter-free, quiet and distraction-free area is usually the best, although people have different needs and abilities when it comes to studying, so try a few things and see what works best for you. A desk in your bedroom? A corner in your living room? A good pair of headphones in a busy café? A mix of all three depending on the day? There is no rule: if it helps you study seriously and consistently, go for it! 


Keep reading below!


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5. Practice makes perfect

Learning something new, especially subjects like a foreign language, takes practice...and lots of it. Outside of your class, spend time speaking, reading, writing and listening to topics related to your class. If you are learning a language like Arabic, try and speak it whenever you can. Watch Arabic videos or the news. Read Arabic newspapers or books, even if they are simple children's Arabic books. Practice writing Arabic, including the new vocabulary words you're working on.


6. Communicate with your teacher

Sometimes, we forget that learning takes two: a learner and a teacher. If you are struggling with your class because it is too challenging or, on the other hand, underwhelming, it is probably time to talk to your teacher about it if you haven't already. They might not know about your situation, especially if you are pretending that everything is alright and you just need to work more - which maybe you need, but regardless, it is always important to have open communication with your teacher so that everyone is on the same page regarding your goals, learning strengths and challenges, and progress.


7. Find a study buddy

Perhaps all you need is a bit of encouragement and motivation from a peer. Look around you: is there a relative, friend or maybe coworker who is also taking a class at the moment? It doesn't have to be the same class or even the same subject. The idea is that you could both be accountable to each other, making it more motivating to put in the efforts needed to progress in the class and achieve your respective learning goals. Check in on each other about reviewing past lessons, doing homework, actively attending class and even going beyond the class itself by reading a news article in Arabic if you are taking an Arabic class for instance.


8. Make dua!

If you have read our previous magazine editions or even our many blog posts, you already know what we are going to say here: never underestimate the power of dua! Keep making dua. Start each class with dua, end each class with dua, and ask for Allah's SWT help to succeed with this class in a way that is beneficial for your life in this world and in the Hereafter insha'Allah. 


May Allah SWT put barakah in your time and efforts with your class, ameen!


This article was originally published in our Studio Arabiya Times magazine (Fall 2022). CLICK HERE to read the whole magazine!


Enroll in Online Arabic, Quran & Islamic Studies Classes Today.


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