It’s that time of year again when we’re all heads down spending hours upon hours in the library living off Plug Bagels and Red Bull. Anyone that doesn’t have deadlines or exams coming up, congratulations; you win. For the rest of us, our social life has come to a halt as we concentrate on catching up on all the work we procrastinated on all semester.
All jokes aside, it’s not a fun time of the year. January’s a crap month as it is without the pressure of exams creeping up on us. There are a few ways that we can make it all a bit more bearable, and here are some tips to cope with January.
Everybody’s different, and can study for different lengths times so find what works for you and when you’re most productive. And TAKE BREAKS! It’s important to go outside during revision and get some fresh air, whether you want to go for a 10k run, or just have a trip to the shop to replenish your snacks. For me, I always work better in the morning and the evening, so will usually give myself a decent break in the afternoon so I don’t get too brain-dead. Some of my friends like to treat revision like a 9-5 job, whilst others will do 50 minutes study with a 10 minute break. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all so just try and figure out what works for you.
Put your phone away
If, like me, you’re a procrastinator, you’ll know that the struggle is real. You spend 5 minutes studying, go to check something on the internet and then end up scrolling through Instagram for the rest of eternity. Simple way to fix this? Put your phone out of arms reach, and on silent. Better still, go wild and turn it off. If your phone isn’t your main form of procrastination, do whatever you need to do before you study (hoovering, washing, watch ONE episode on Netflix), and that way you have NO EXCUSES!
Get a study buddy
Studying in groups can make the whole experience way more fun, and you can discuss anything you’re not sure about in the course content. For some essay-based courses, it can also be a really useful way to debate questions and points of views on certain issues before putting pen to paper. It also gives you someone else to be accountable to, so if you aren’t prepared then it affects everyone else. Nothing like a bit of positive peer pressure!
Healthy mind, healthy body
Nobody has time to be cooking a gourmet meal right now, but that doesn’t mean that you need to live off Deliveroo, plus who can really afford that anyway! A little bit of meal prep can go a long way in exam period, and batch-cooking can become your best friend. Make your meals ahead so you aren’t tempted to make bad food choices; eating unhealthily will only make you feel even more exhausted, and science says that eating healthily boosts your brain activity and memory. In saying all of this though, it’s still important to treat yourself. At the end of the day, one slice of pizza isn’t going to kill you so if you really need a bit of a cheat meal, go for it.
Get Help if you need it
Now this is where it gets real. Exams aren’t easy, and the pressure can get too much. And that’s okay! Look out for your friends; if you’re worried about your flatmates, coursemates, or even just a stranger then reach out and let them know you’re there if they need you. Sometimes all someone needs is a friendly face. If you’re feeling down during exam period, or any time of the year, please do go and seek some advice. There’s support you can get on campus from personal tutors, unit convenors or Wellbeing services. The SU Advice centre work separately from the University so if you’re worried about talking to anyone from your course, they’ll be able to offer you completely independent and confidential advice. If you want to talk to someone out of the context of the bubble, Mind has signposted to some excellent helplines and also organise support groups in town
There you have it! 5 short tips to make revision period more bearable. The SU is running a Study Well campaign over the next few weeks so keep an eye on thesubath.com/study-well for some events, activities and advice during exam period.
The Advice Centre is open from 09:00 – 17:00, Monday – Friday. You can book an appointment on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01225 386906
Contact details for Nightline can be found on the back of your Library Card
Wellbeing Services: 01225 383838
Samaritans: 116 123