Some time during junior year, I was doing research on potential colleges. College Confidential was a toxic wasteland dump of negativity, Quora and Reddit weren’t quite on my radar yet, and sites like Niche weren’t particularly helpful. But as I googled and searched for colleges with the best creative writing programs, I came across a blog that gave surprisingly specific and helpful advice about college admissions. After trawling through its archives and sourcing back the study tips and beautiful flashcards pictures this site had reblogged, I found that this blog was one of the thousands of studyblr blogs dedicated to the art of trying to thrive in school and by extension, life.
On a purely practical level, I’ve picked up a few things from them: the extension Momentum on Chrome, printable schedules, and stationery recommendations. But more than that, I learned that I should try to manipulate the life, time, and the space around me for optimal happiness. Happiness isn’t always just in the big events in your life. It’s something that should be found from the satisfaction of completing a task, admiring the painfully pretty color-coded notes you took, and in simply appreciating the environment that surrounds you. Happiness is found in Parks and Rec posters you printed yourself (and in having saved money), well-designed weather apps, and cute phone cases.
I’d say that there are some drawbacks to partaking in studyblr culture. For one, it seems like everyone is enormously accomplished and has excellent grades due to the inordinate amount of discipline they exercise in crafting aforementioned beautiful flashcards and making straight As. But not everyone in the community has Fineliner pens, awesome handwriting, and perfect grades; studyblrs bring together people who are focused on self-improvement. However small the problems of these “perfect people” may seem, they’re often transparent about their shortcomings and are genuine in their efforts to achieve their goals. It’s the willingness to improve one’s self that is ultimately the admirable quality that binds them all. In the studyblr world, there’s never any judgement—only encouragement, positivity, and righteous anger at social injustice.
While I’ve previously bemoaned the bifurcation of my interests in the blogosphere, I discovered a little too late that the answer to all my content collation problems. I had always been a stationery junkie, even as a child. I was very stingy about stickers (which I viewed as things to be preserved and never used), sharpening pencils that were pretty, and using erasers that weren’t ugly. It was only a matter of time before I turned to studyblr, which, unlike many blogs about aesthetics, carry a sense of humor and cultural omnivorousness. There is room to accommodate for your multitude of interests (fashion, Arrested Development gifs, feminism, food) as well as posts about your love of Hermione Granger’s work ethic, cursive on graph paper, and study life hacks/resource masterposts.
I’ve witnessed a lot of frank discussion about mental health and studying. The community carries an innate understanding that not everyone is equally able to have the same kinds of goals and that self-improvement operates under the notion that people try to the best of their ability.
There’s a fine line between motivating yourself with studyblr pictures and wasting your time on Tumblr, and if you’re supposed to be doing your homework or studying for a test and you’re reading this, I’d suggest you take these next few actions and ask yourself some questions.
- Are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Will reading this article derail you from sleeping at a healthy time?
- If so, do you have a plan for how you’re going to finish your work? If you are engaging in the leisurely pursuit of reading, feel free to google something like “studyblr printables _insert year here_” for planner printables and ways to help yourself in the future.
For those of you still here, ride off into the sunset! Make a studyblr! Bake a pie! Live the life you always told yourself you’d live! Get a cute planner! Take a nap! Motivate yourself through the power of blog!