Ever felt your heart sink when you feel like the January wave of assessment hell has JUST ended and you realize exam time is approaching? Unfortunately, it’s a rite of passage that we must all bear, but on the other side of the coin, when you do really well at the end, you’ll almost certainly feel awesome about yourself! Academic success is not the only kind of achievement but it will be one of your best friends when it comes to job applications in the future, so triumph is key! These are just a few handy tips to keep you going.
So try and stay calm, collected and as crazy as it sounds, logical, when it comes to your revision and workload.
1. Regime, regime and regime!
A previous lecturer of mine wisely said once treat revision is your 9-5 full-time job. If you can do this and stay completely focused during those times throughout the year, then there should be no reason not to get As or a 1st . Sometimes students prefer to study in their bedroom because they need dead quiet, others need a bit of sound (like myself) to keep them going. Whichever kind of student you are, find your niche, and make sure you stick to it! Whether it means you have to drag yourself to the library in the rain, or keep your bedroom tidy so you have study space, do it! You deserve the best opportunities in life, so why not put as much time as you can into your studies and still have the whole night for a social life? The choice is yours.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having fun or treating yourself for working so hard! Watch the odd film, go out with your friends, maybe get a makeover? (I would strongly recommend this after handing in a big assignment or after the completion of an exam period). The bigger the treat, the greater the motivation for the next step! However, do tread with caution. I tend to find the end of one huge deadline sometimes has another one trailing just behind it. If this is the case, then perhaps one really big treat at the end of the whole saga is a better idea. You don’t want to squander one assignment at the expense of another.
Do I need to say 2 minds are better that one? How about 10 minds or 20 minds? At all levels of my education I have always consulted with my friends and other colleagues to a) ensure I am following along the right lines b) all lines of thought have been considered c) find ways to pick up more marks d) create a mutual friendship in which we can help each other.
There are so many benefits to maintaining good relationships with people, outside of networking. People skills are so important in the workplace; showing you can get along with anyone is vital and these skills must be built, whether its through a customer service job or just generally going that extra mile to make someone’s day. Remember – what goes around comes around; and that doesn’t include just the negative things, but the positive ones too.
4. Remembering the effects of stress
Not only has it been shown that stress reduces productivity1; a 30-year study has uncovered that it has the ability to weaken your immune system2. It is simply bad for your health! Now, of course we cannot help it and I concede that some stress does help you move forward and complete assignments. However, too much can have devastating results. Interestingly, some recent studies have shown that stress itself is not the issue but the way we think about stress can have a massive impact upon the way we react3. Be careful on the ways you choose to handle it, because stress is a part of life. Learn how to deal with it early and the happier and healthier you will be.
5. Stay in the loop
I am guilty of this myself and admittedly, it does help produce good results sometimes, but remembering what I mentioned about teamwork, there’s always the option of learning from others. It can be a very depressing state of mind and it’s the way some people respond to high levels of stress. But it has been shown that the best way to relieve stress is through close contact with family and friends. Talking things through and allowing yourself to share some woe can make it far more manageable; and I promise it will make a big difference in improving your grades!
As the old saying goes, education is your passport! Believe in yourself, you will get there with enough sleep, food, water and composure.
1. ZareiMatin, H., Razavi, H.R., Emamgholizadeh, S., (2014). Is stress management related to workforce productivity? Iranian Journal of Management Studies. 7 (1), 1-19.
2. Segerstrom, S.C. and Miller, G.E., (2004). Psychological stress and the human immune system: a meta-analytic study of 30 years of inquiry. Psychological Bulletin. 130 (4), 601.
3. How to make stress your friend, (2013). Directed by Kelly McGonigal. [TED]. TEDGlobal 2013: TED: Ideas Worth Spreading.