Look after yourself!
In preparation for my A level exams, I shut myself up in my room to study over the Easter break and was effectively living on Kitkat and coffee. This lasted for about two weeks followed by two weeks of regular trips to A&E. It was the biggest mistake during exam season and I was left even more shattered that so much of my time was wasted when I was trying to learn.
So, this post is for all those who might be tempted to do something similar this Easter. Look after yourself!
- Eat healthy. Instead of crisps/ chocolate while eating, have a proper meal on time. I like to keep a water bottle and a carton of pineapple juice (yeh, you read that right) at my desk for refreshments while studying but certainly a proper meal is very important. Food is life; degree is not (really).
- Ensure not to sit at the same place in the same position for too long. Basically, what people call exercise but since I never do it myself, I won't suggest it to you guys either. I like to take quick regular breaks because otherwise my mind automatically switches off after a period of time. I'd avoid lying down on the bed because I ended up sleeping for two hours today but you can do other things. I like to play Piano Tiles or read a chapter of the book I'm currently reading (Great Expectations) or eat.
- Plan your revision. This is the best way to stop stressing. The best method is to create a rough checklist and keep track of your daily/ weekly progress. I have mentioned in my previous post how spontaneous my revision styles are but certainly have goals like finishing x number of chapters by week one, when you must begin practicing exam papers and if you have something like your third lab report due first week back in term 3, make sure not to forget about it!
- Have positive thoughts. I am not too proud of my A level achievements and my greatest concern of all time is that I might not do well this year either. You can't however forget that revision is not only for grades but also because you love the subject(s) you are studying. Focus on enjoying your revision process and learning new things and try to focus on the process rather than the outcome. In the end, the best feeling is knowing you tried and not having any regrets. You don't want to feel bad about the time you wasted stressing when you could have revised.
- All-nighters DON'T work. They don't work. They just don't work.
- If you find that you are overly concerned about work i.e. constant breakdowns and stress and this is preventing you from getting work done, seek help/ advice. If you're at sixth form, you can see your teachers now. Warwick chemistry department, I know, will be having a stress management session week 1 of term 3 to support us. Additionally, you can go to your tutors, module leaders and academics and have a conversation. Warwick library do study happy sessions to make the process of learning cheerful and they have a study happy app with a penguin picture that could in itself cheer you up. There is a lot of support available so make sure you take action at the right time to avoid disappointment later.
University experience is meant to be rewarding and fulfilling. Feeling stressed is normal and being able to deal with stress is a skill to develop but the process should never make you fall out of love with the subject you're studying. It would defeat the purpose of all the hardwork and effort so make sure you're studying and you're happy!
Have a lovely break :)