Could there be a worse time for exams than January? You’ve just spent the month of December too distracted by Christmas to revise and the January blues are making it impossible to think positively. It would come as no surprise if you were feeling less than prepared for what lies ahead. But, despite what your doubt-filled mind is telling you, you have got this. The energy to survive the late night, coffee-fuelled revision sessions is inside of you. Willpower for the long, lonely library days hasn’t run out just yet. You are capable of pulling yourself out of the post-Christmas slump to concentrate for a little while longer.
Not convinced you’ve got what it takes?
Here are 5 pieces of advice from the DTL team:
1. Rest to revise
It might sound counterproductive, but if your December was filled with excessive partying, one too many food comas and endless lazy days (who’s wasn’t!?) your energy is probably lacking. If you are trying to revise when you’re exhausted, you aren’t going to remember much. Make sure you are balancing hard work with rest so that your mind is actually working with you.
2. Fuel with food
The roast dinners, chocolate, cheese and biscuits that you have been living off for the past few weeks just aren’t going to cut it anymore. To get yourself out of the slump, you’re going to have to drop the December diet. Try foods that are full of B-vitamins (spinach, flaxseeds, beans), high in omega 3 (oily fish, eggs, wild rice) and magnesium (dark chocolate, bananas, avocado) instead.
3. Get organised
If you are struggling to find the motivation you need after time off, it’s probably a good idea to make a plan. Finding structure again will inevitably be tough, after all, you have just spent the whole of Christmas not knowing what day it is or how many episodes you’ve watched on Netflix. But it’s not impossible. Create a revision schedule, write to-do lists and set countdowns for important dates.
4. Do what works for you
There is no right way to revise. Some people wake up at the crack of dawn and give themselves set working hours. Others can only function once the sun has gone down and will work until they fall asleep at their desk. Some revise far in advance and relax just before the exam. Others cram as much in as humanly possible right before the paper is in front of them. You’ve sat enough exams now to know what works for you, so do exactly that.
5. Manage your expectations
There is no denying the pressure of university exams is high. Right about now you are probably struggling to push your impending future to the back of your mind. The fear of wasted tuition fees, your dream career slipping through your fingers and a few years of your life being wasted is likely to be lingering. Try to remember that thoughts like this aren’t actually helpful right now. You can only do what you are capable of and too much pressure could make you achieve less than you deserve.
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