Everything is so hectic right now with essay deadlines just around the corner and exams in mid-May.
A small insight into exam life at Leicester:
Okay. So… I was going to write about how annoyingly packed the library is and how important snacks are, but no one wants to hear about that. So here’s my un-clichéd truth:
Firstly, to be perfectly honest, exam time is great in so many ways because instead of having meetings and lectures and tutorials and societies and a social life, I have nothing but work, and everyone around me is revising too! The freedom to plan your day around studying and have a change of pace is actually extremely refreshing.
But soon the stress hits and I realise how little time I have. In the end though, if I work hard I know it’ll all be okay. You can always remember more, and get more done by the deadline than you think you can. Keeping stress under control is a key factor in revision periods.
Taking time out is so important. If I stop going to the gym, seeing some friends to chat, or doing fun things like going out for the occasional meal I end up being so unproductive. I’m miserable and I can’t focus, so it’s vital to remember that studying for 15 hours a day without breaks is unrealistic and will only encourage procrastination.
I also find that people are their most irritating around exam time. The first question you get, especially in Law, is ‘how’s work going?’ UGH. I can’t stand it. We’ve got enough comparison on social media and day-to-day, without the added stress of comparing which topics you have or haven’t revised yet. It’s the worst. In reality, it serves no purpose; no one tells the full truth, everyone will act like it’s worse than it is, and you’re not going to remember what anyone else is going to be studying next week anyway, so why does it matter? It’s needless small talk that only makes everyone feel more negative. I avoid talking about it at all costs and steer clear of people who ask me those questions. Focus on you because everyone learns and works at a different pace – spend your time looking at the books while everyone else is looking at each other.
I find that I end up swinging between eating so much better, and then so much worse. I want to power my brain with super healthy food one minute, and then order takeaway the next. But whatever is quick and easy, and healthy so I don’t feel lethargic, works best for me!
I always end up stress shopping too. This year it’s all about books and creativity – which I think shows some progress since in first year my online orders consisted of clothes from the ‘free next day delivery’ deals. I’ve purchased some books I’ve wanted for ages, including a poem book, a light-ish novel, and creative journals. They make for exciting and stimulating study breaks that are better than scrolling through Facebook which zaps all of your brain energy.
In essence, exam period is a time to focus on you. A time to drag yourself through the agonising details of your subject until you properly understand it and can find the joy in learning it.
It’s not all bad. Do whatever helps you – that’s what matters. Keep on keeping on.