Student Voices: A High-Schooler’s Perspective Tips On Focusing When Studying

As students, yeah, we’ve all been there: trying to study but ending up on your phone or fiddling with pencils or whatever you have near you. And the process of online learning doesn’t help, we have our laptops, smartphones, and other devices right in front of us. Distraction is literally a few inches from your hand! If you’re reading this, you most likely want to find out how you can enhance your focus for your studies or even other activities — and in this article, that’s what I’m going to help you achieve.

A common tip you’re going to hear from a lot of people is to put your phone away. Like, really far away from you. While this proves effective for some people, it does not work for everyone as most other people just stand up and take their phone from the position they left it in. This means it’s not fully efficient yet. However, we could enhance this solution by just a bit to make it prove and give more astounding results. If you want this tip to work, you have two choices: one is to just put your phone somewhere far from you (which I already mentioned earlier) or two is to download focus apps on your phone. Yes, focus apps. Whether you’re going to the App Store or the Play Store or anything in between, just search up ‘focus app’ and once downloaded, you’ll find yourself ready as ever to work! The way these focus apps work is that you set yourself some time away from your phone, and then place your phone down. If you manage to go all the way down without disrupting the timer and moving to other apps, you’ll get a reward (in most apps). However, if you don’t, you won’t get a reward. And we all know reward > no reward, isn’t it? So go, try any focus application you see on your downloading facility now.

Next, while we’re on the topic of rewards, reward yourself every now and then. Remember that you’re only human and you need support and encouragement from anyone in any way possible. And if no one’s going to be there for you, be there for yourself. By rewarding yourself with such things as chocolate bars, decorative markers, or play time on your phone whenever you finish a small chapter, lesson, or revision, you’ll be more encouraged and more pulled toward your end goal. This has proved effective for more than 80% of the population, so if you haven’t already, you should try this. Since you’re setting your own rewards, make them enticing. And since you’re in charge of your own studying, remember to control. For example, if you think you didn’t quite understand the lesson because you chose to rush reading for the reward, go back and try again. Out of all the tips I’m going to share today, I think the number one basis for all of them is control. Once you have that, you’re good to go. Let’s move on now, I personally favor this next one.

Because you’re a student, you’re most likely going to have to remember a lot of stuff — not only for yourself, but also for your future; which okay, it’s also going to be for yourself. This next tip tells you to have a notebook or a journal with you AT. ALL. TIMES. You may have a ton of notebooks for different subjects already, but if they’re still in use as of the moment, they’re not going to do anything for you. Instead, try to reuse one that you used in the past but didn’t really fill up the pages. This is now going to be your personal notebook. Your journal. Possibly even your diary, if that’s your sort of thing. In this notebook, you’re going to jot down everything you want to remember for future purposes, such as: terms, definitions, facts, processes, etc. But not only those! You could also write down anything you have in your mind to clear up some space in there. Scribble down grocery lists, to-do checks, ideas, questions to do research on later, or even — get this — feelings! Treat it like your best friend; don’t hold back, and just write. It’s yours, and it’s going to help you with so much.

There. Three tips for studying that you should go and try right now. There’s no harm in trying, after all, so go. For sure, you have storage on your phone for the focus app, games or treats in your home to reward yourself, and a spare notebook for your own personal journal. Try all of them now. —Jon Zaccary C. Regala, Grade 10


Nir Mathur

Nir, a medical student at King’s College London, brings over three years of experience guiding students through the medical school admissions process, exam preparation, and interview/MMI preparation. Having successfully secured offers from medical schools in Ireland, Australia, the UK, and Singapore, He is well-versed in the requirements and intricacies of these regions’ application processes. His structured, relatable, and engaging teaching style makes complex concepts accessible and interesting. Managing medical school admissions and exam preparation at StEPS, Nir leverages this firsthand experience and teaching approach to provide tailored guidance and support to aspiring medical students worldwide.


Amna Khawar

Amna is a bilingual Montessori trained Learning Specialist with over 10 years of experience at Dubai International Academy.

A Parent Ambassador for the prestigious Loughborough University, Amna will be supporting StEPS students and parents with their education planning.

Working in the Special Needs Department she has contributed to the positive development and wellbeing of students with learning difficulties and lower level abilities in group and 1-1 settings inside and outside the classroom through multiple evidence based interventions.

Mehak Amir

Mehak Amir

Senior Consultant

Hello, I’m Mehek Amir, a Warwick Graduate. I have 7-8 years of experience in the education sector, I have worked with prestigious institutions such as LUMS. I have helped local and international students in completing their personal statements, guiding them through assignments and thesis.

My journey in education has equipped me with a deep understanding of the challenges students face when seeking international opportunities. I believe that studying abroad not only broadens horizons but also opens doors to endless possibilities.

As an experienced professional, I am well-versed in the intricacies of the application process, visa requirements, and the various educational systems around the world. I am committed to guiding students through every step of their journey, providing them with the knowledge and support they need to make informed decisions.

Shayan Fareed

Shayan Fareed

Undergraduate Ambassador

Shayan Fareed is an Undergraduate Ambassador for StEPS who recently graduated from Warwick Business School with a BSC in Management. Prior to that, he completed his A Levels at the prestigious Aitchison College. During his time at the University of Warwick, Shayan cherished the vibrant campus life and considered it his home for the past three years, leaving behind fond memories as he moves on to new endeavors.

Faiza Omar

Faiza Omer

Communication Coordinator
Faiza Omer has a Masters in Finance from Punjab University and extensive experience in working across a variety of functional roles. Having been part of the StEPS team for the last three years, Faiza manages the company’s HR for Pakistan and the UAE and also supports with operations. She is skilled in managing internal and external stakeholder engagement and has received several certificates and awards, demonstrating her proficiency in teamwork, customer service, and administrative expertise. Prior to joining StEPS, Faiza worked at DNATA Emirates Group in Dubai providing passenger services and coordinating flight operations.

Misbah Fehmi​

Misbah has long been guiding parents and students on higher education application processes, entry requirements, subject selection, and extra curricular activites for university admissions.

We are delighted to have her support Team StEPS to share her expertise for North American university applications.

In addition for her passion for guiding students and parents, she brings valuable cross sectoral experience in writing for impact, human resource, talent acquisition, recruitment consultancy, advertising and marketing.

Wasim Hashmi Syed

Wasim Hashmi Syed

Senior Advisor

Mr Wasim Hashmi Syed, Senior Advisor, Professional Development and Transnational Education.Mr Wasim Hashmi Syed has over twenty years of visionary experience in initiating and leading educational initiatives with tangible outcomes, creating international linkages, and providing development opportunities for Pakistani youth under the country’s vision 2025. He has been involved in various government and foreign-funded projects, including monitoring research and development projects in IT and engineering.

As an Advisor and Consultant at the Higher Education Commission (HEC), he managed programs aimed at increasing the number of PhD faculty, providing scholarships for students, and fostering collaboration with foreign universities. Additionally, he oversaw the monitoring of research and development projects and played a key role in policy development for higher education institutions. He established collaboration with  more than 30 international foreign universities and organizations. He played a significant role in launching and overseeing scholarship programs and initiatives related to information and communication technology.

He also served as an Advisor International Linkages at Pak-Austria Fachhochschule Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology Haripur, he had engaged in obtaining charter for Institute from HEC and PEC.

In his role as General Manager Monitoring/Projects at the National ICT R&D Funds (IGNITE), he monitored numerous technical projects funded by academia and local industry.

Mr. Hashmi obtained his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from University of Engineering Technology Lahore. He also holds MS in Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management, from the University of Louisville Kentucky USA, and a Ph.D. (in progress) in Transport Engineering University of Hasselt Belgium.

Zeeshan Riaz

Zeeshan Riaz

He leads the business development, international brand building and student recruitment initiatives for StEPS partner institutes.

Zeeshan is a UK certified Clinical Therapist and British Council certified Trainer of Trainers (TOT) with higher education from Norway, Pakistan and UK in Computer Science with Business Management followed by MBA in Marketing.

He has extensive experience in corporate strategy and development in Europe, Middle East and Asia, working in a range of industries with extensive involvement in Green-Field and Public & Private partnership development projects which provides him with in-depth knowledge of the global job market to advise on career growth and educational pathways for professionals and students.

She has been representing her alma mater for international student admissions since 1998, and has successfully supported thousands of students with their academic development, university admissions and scholarship applications globally through educational guidance counseling, professional mentoring and career coaching.

As a certified DiSC and ‘How Women Rise’ coach, she also supports the learning and development of professionals to bring about workplace improvements through transferable skills development, behavioral change, and individual profile building for successful career growth.

Saima is a British Council trained and certified IELTS professional for British Council Dubai, Senior Consultant with Global Management Consultants UAE, Education Coordinator for BNI Konnectors in Dubai, and a member of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital in Pakistan.

Her previous experiences include teaching students and training professionals for prestigious institutions and organizations like The University of Warwick, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Kinnaird College for Women, Virtual University of Pakistan, Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Ali Institute of Education, Punjab Judicial Academy and The Ameliorate Group.

With extensive experience in education management and administration, Saima has been the Founding Director for the Directorate of Faculty Development & Internationalisation (DFDI) at LCWU, and successfully launched a Faculty Development Centre as well as Pakistan’s first university-level mandatory Citizenship programme in collaboration with the British Council. She was thus responsible for supporting the enhancement of teaching and research capability of Asia’s largest women’s university, creating linkages with local and international partners, enabling students in social entrepreneurship projects, and raising the university profile on an international academic platform.