Elena Zolotariov
IES PhD Candidate

The pandemic has changed a lot of things in our day to day lives. As we have discussed before one of those things has been our work/life balance. During the first pandemic, I was casually spending a bit more time than I should have on YouTube. It was then that I came across study vlogs — which, by the way, I didn’t even know were a thing (but they have been a thing since 2010s, so I was a decade late to the party). So, for today’s A-Z Challenge, I have chosen Y for Youtube to share my favourite channels.

Study Vlogs are a great way to learn about other people’s studying habits and watch them as they study, prepare for exams, and take breaks. They can teach you to write fancy to-do lists and motivate you to have a routine (something most of us have been struggling with during quarantine!) 

While I love study vlogs and sometimes I have them on as white noise, I also enjoy listening to lo-fi/indie music when I take notes from articles I am reading or doing work that doesn’t require heavy thinking. When heavy thinking is required (as it is most of the time), I either turn to complete silence or to romantic music (such as Chopin, Debussy) or avant-garde composers such as Satie. However, a lot of study beans seem to favour classical composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach which I listen to when I am in the process of writing, but only when I am writing. If you were to ask me why, I wouldn’t have an answer — it’s just a habit I picked up many moons ago and as the British like to say, it’s the way the cookie crumbles. 

StudyChaii is a study channel created and run by Fatimah who shares study tips and her day to day life. Aesthetically pleasing (a sensory feast!) her videos are meant to give you so much pleasure just by watching them. And the music! Ah! *chef’s kiss*

Beatrice channel, The Bliss Bean, is also an absolute delight to watch. From studying to cleaning up your room to motivating you to meditate, The Bliss Bean is a heaven full of good advice and positivity. Granted, I am an avowed maximalist, but I still enjoy watching Beatrice decluttering her room. 

3aykati is run by Kathi who is a student in Ireland. If you feel unmotivated, fear no more! Adorned with lo-fi and some ASMR, Kathi walks you through her day.

Here’s a three-hour session kindly facilitated by Merve, an MRes student at the University of Glasgow, studying International Relations. If you like white noise, this video is for you. Ambient, calm, inspiring, Merve has helped me concentrate on more than one occasions. 

Some of my favourite videos revolve around daily routine and ways to maximise productivity. Jasmine recently uploaded her productive daily routine which starts with a run (!!) Jasmine also talks you through her day as opposed to absolute quietude, which I like! She also has lots of great study videos and advice.

Music to Study to

This is totally down to personal preference: while some of us prefer instrumental music (regardles of the genre), others also feel inspired listening songs. I don’t mind either, though I certainly feel more focused when I listen to music that is calm and unobtrusive. Classical music, though undeniably cerebral, tends to overwhelm me or some times stress me out. Maybe because here I am writing something mediocre while listening to masterpieces — not cool, Beethoven! I have therefore chosen three different playlists for three different study moods which I hope inspire you and motivate you. 

Written by Elena ZolotariovIES PhD Candidate

 Check out the other A-Z Challenge participants as well!

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