Are influencers actually influencers nowadays without having a book published? Every influencer in every branch seems to write and publish a book at some point. Although in all honesty not all books by influencers are that high in quality, some books are actually very interesting and well written. Recently, studytuber and influencer Jade Bowler has published a book with the title ‘The Only Study Guide You”ll Ever Need: Simple tips, tricks and techniques to help you ace your studies and pass your exams’! I have been following Jade for about 4 years now and I was really curious about the book. Being a student myself, I thought it would be useful to read the book. Today, I will tell you my opinions about the book and whether you should read it as well!
Jade is a 21-year-old British student and studytuber with her popular YouTube channel UnjadedJade. I started following Jade back in 2017, as she was quite similar to me. Same age and also a driven, hard-working student at her last year of high school. Partly because of her, I worked harder than I ever did before to get good grades on my final exams in high school as well. Jade really was a great motivation and inspiration for me.
After high school, she took a gap year and went to a new and in all honesty kind of strange university, called Minerva. The idea of Minerva is that you spend every semester in a different city (Berlin, Haiderabad, San Francisco etc.) and learn in a different way than traditional universities (more active instead of passive studying). As I am going to a ‘traditional university’ in the Netherlands, the whole concept of Minerva and the student lifestyle of Jade meant less feeling of similarity and motivation. However, I still kept following her as it was also very interesting in a way to see a completely different way of being a university student.
Jade writing a study guide
When she announced that she was going to publish a book, I expected an autobiographical novel about her study journey and life as a student. So, I was a bit surprised when I read the title for the first time. Do not get me wrong, as Jade is a studytuber and successful student, it does make sense that she is writing a guide about study methods within the current education system. However, I questioned whether a second year university student without a PhD, masters degree or something similar in the education sciences could write a good and critical book about the best study methods and the current educational system.
In the description of her book, Jade herself acknowledges that she does not have a PhD in Exam Etiquette, but that she wrote the book purely based on her experience: what tips and tricks did she needed as a high school student? As she finished high school with very good grades (all A*s), I was still curious about the best study methods based on her experiences. To conclude, as the book is mostly based on her experiences and only for a small part on educational research, it does feel more like an autobiographical novel about her study journey than a study guide for me.
Is it the only study guide you’ll ever need?
Let’s talk about the book itself. The book contains lots of different learning techniques, mostly based on Jade’s high school experiences, how to get motivated to study, tips on making a timetable, and how to deal with failing, stress and mental health while being a student in both high school and university. The tips and methods are mainly focused on high school students, but could also be useful to apply for college and university students. Personally, I found the study methods very well explained and helpful. I really think they are applicable for most students and effective to get better grades.
One thing I really learned from Jade is the focus on studying smarter instead of studying harder. It is easy for a student to think, oh, I will get better grades when I study more hours, be more disciplined and a very productive student. Partly, this is true, but it is more about the way you learn the information and memorize it in an effective way. She explains this very well with good study techniques and methods.
Following this, I really liked the focus on mental health in combination with (toxic) productivity. Mental health of students becomes more and more important nowadays, but not too much has been written about it. On the one hand, you want good grades and being a disciplined, productive student, but on the other hand you want balance in your life and not get too obsessed with good results and being productive. Being strict for myself when it comes to grades and being a hard worker, just as Jade (used to be), I find her perspective on mental health as a student very interesting to read.
One part of the book I was and still am a bit questionable about concerns the criticism on the (British) educational system. Of course, Jade has been a British high school student, but I doubt whether she is in the position to really criticize the whole educational system. Although she has some really good points about both advantages and disadvantages s of the system and possible improvements, it came across (in my opinion) a little bit arrogant to criticize her high school and teachers. Furthermore, as she has not studied anything related to educational sciences and not worked in the field of education, I doubt it whether she is the ‘right person’ and has ‘enough knowledge’ to write and publish a book that addresses the educational system.
The writing style is fine in my opinion. It is clear that Jade is (very) smart and you can see this in her way of writing and use of words. Although there are some small errors in the grammar and sentence structure, the writing style makes it a nice and not too difficult read. Jade ends every chapter with practical tips the reader can do. I think this is really good, as it encourages the reader to actually change something about his or her way of learning instead of just reading the book.
Should you buy the book?
When you are a student on high school, college or university you could definitely read the book to get more insights in whether your way of studying is actually the most effective, and how you could maybe improve this. It is also very fun to read how another student experiences her study journey. Do not expect to be a perfect student after you have read the book, but I think it could definitely contribute to better grades and passing your exams.