They started popping up on my dashboard on Tumblr a few months ago. Studyblrs. Pictures of notebooks with meticulously illustrated notes, carefully framed with still life objects: carefully strewn pens, a calculator, mason jars.
Studyblrs. Or study blogs.
Whatever your preferred terminology, they are essentially a community of students (most of them are female) that are just really, really into studying (or "revising" as the British studyblrs say). Most are in high school or their first years of college. Most have an obsessive goal they are attempting to reach: a certain GPA, a certain college or university, a career. They're dedicated and man, do they show it.
As a teenager and college student, I was very dedicated to school--and I was also kind of a weirdo about my notes. However, I never got the urge to illustrate my notes, or decorate them with stickers, or to admit to spending hours upon hours rewriting, studying, and, essentially, doodling. I had Netflix to watch, I guess.
But part of me wishes I hadn't just been weird about taking notes--but that I had made them beautiful enough to keep. I mean, my notes were mostly a smeared frenzy of half-cursive, half-print with random highlighting and confusing bullet points. Sometimes, I made an effort, but sometimes, I just needed the information. And sometimes I, horror upon horror, typed up my notes, turning them into Times New Roman boring outlines. Perfect for studying, but not really cute for posting on a dedicated studying blog.
Not only do studyblrs spend hours revising/studying, writing out their notes, reading, and more, they also dispense advice on their blogs, from specific studying techniques to notebook and pen reviews to how to study for specific subjects and tests. (The SATs, ACTs, and British GSCEs are a big factor in many studyblrs.) Some blogs are huge. One of my favorites, Revise or Die, has a massive following, answering anonymously submitted questions several times a day; she also posts printables, illustrated notes sheets, her own study set ups, reviews, and more. She also dispenses advice on the best pens to use, her preferred notebooks, and recommendations for software. For being so young, she's incredibly knowledgeable and helpful--way more than I would have been as a teenager!
It's amazing that such a community of high achievement has popped up on, of all places, Tumblr and it's nice to see how many notes each post gets. It's comforting to think that students still care deeply about their grades and their future.
I was never very good at doodling, though, when I think about it; I'm not very talented in artistic methods that don't involve pre-made elements (scrapbooking, basic graphic design). I never would have been a successful studyblr, but that doesn't stop me from wishing, more than anything else, there had been such a community when I was in school and could have used their advice.