How to stay sane during the exam period

As we are all aware, the term after a somewhat relaxing Easter holiday is always the most dreaded…that is exam season! It is the time where every student has around 4 to 5 breakdowns per hour and is caffeine-fuelled off a mixture of Fresh Hope coffee and litre bottles of Lucozade. You are on another 2 hour ‘brain break’ walking through Sheppard Worlock library at 1am on your all-nighter and give a compassionate nod to the student having a breakdown at their desk, because we have all been there. And let’s face it; we would all rather be in McCooley’s. But for the time being, we need to make sure we are all looking after ourselves to perform as best as we can on the big day. Here are a few tips/ideas for remaining as sane as possible during the exam season:

  • Make sure you have a balance of work and play – there is no point in burning yourself out, it will just make revision seem more of a chore than it already does. Giving yourself time to do other things can be your reward for hard work.
  • Try putting together your own revision timetable – I do this every year and it really helps balance your time between subjects, especially if you are a combined honours student. It also ensures you are not over-working yourself, as you can only thoroughly concentrate for 20 minutes at a time!
  • Although all-nighters are very tempting, try and get a full 8 hours sleep, especially the night before your exam! It goes without saying how important sleep is, so the worst thing you can do is miss out on it. I love my unconscious time, sometimes a bit too much.
  • Eat and drink properly – and I don’t mean vodka, that’s for after! A balanced diet and a little less caffeine can really work wonders, eating fish or pasta and drinking water significantly helps your brain performance.
  • Look after yourself – we all love a bit of self-care so popping on your favourite film, pampering yourself or maybe trying a bath bomb from the new three-storey Lush in town won’t hurt!
  • This one may seem like the most obvious one, but remember to stay calm – everybody is in the same boat and going into an exam feeling flustered isn’t going to do you any favours. If your exam is in the morning, waking up on time and having a relaxed morning helps. For afternoon exams, doing 20 minutes of revision in-between breaks and not burning yourself in the morning will give you a calm mindset.

And finally, don’t forget that your lecturers and tutors are always there to help or motivate you. You are never alone and you can do this!

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