Studying is hard. Not going to lie. Doing something mindless (like cleaning my room, or emptying the dishwasher, or some other menial procrastination technique I’ve perfected over the past few weeks) is easy. But actually sitting down and committing reams of lecture notes to memory is tough going.
Lads, here’s the good news – it’s not impossible. And I’ve learned a few things from my fresher’s study sesh; hopefully by this time next year I’ll be more prepared for the slog.
Rule no. 1: Take a break. Guaranteed you will be EXHAUSTED by the end of the spring term, and you will most definitely need a break before you commit yourself to revision. I’d recommend taking a solid week off, go home if you can, or at least spend time with family and/or friends guilt-free. I myself planned on staying in halls for the first two weeks of the holidays to study before going home for Easter. Don’t do this. The lack of activity and people WILL depress you, and chances are you won’t get much done anyway. I guess it works for some people, but it certainly did not work for me, and I hopped on a ferry home a week earlier than planned. I took a few days out, got pampered by the family, and was ready and willing to tackle the books after some TLC.
Rule no. 2: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I have eight modules to study for my exams, and if I told myself that I’d have all eight studied and ready by the end of the holidays I’d crack up. Seeing as I could only bring so-much home with me, I brought enough material to fully study three modules. I’m pretty much on schedule at the moment, maybe halfway through the second module, but I’m not putting myself under too much pressure. My brother had a similar revision/exam timetable when he was at uni, and I believe it when he says that you get the most work done during the exam period. It’s only natural, the intense study is going to be easier to commit to when everyone else is in the same boat and the pressure’s on.
Rule no. 3: Exercise and take full advantage of any good weather. If you can’t study outside, study near a window so at least you can soak up some vitamin D. And exercising is great for endorphins, which will help to keep up your revision resolve. As an added bonus, it’ll also have you well prepared for the Summer Ball!
Finally, the most important rule of all: If you feel yourself getting too stressed or crazy, take some time off. Hang out with friends, maybe have a Skype-ing session, or watch a movie – the break will calm you down and help you focus again when you get back to the books.
Remember, everyone procrastinates. Ah sure I’m only putting off studying right now by writing this blog. C’est la vie, babes!