University, college or school. No matter where you are right now, you’re in exam season. The end of the school year is always exciting, the warm weather is teasing the amazing Summer you’re going to have, after working hard all year, the idea of a few months off couldn’t sound more inviting and you’ve probably also hit your peak. But what is one thing stopping you from freedom and sun and ice creams and happiness? Exams. Coursework. Studying.
I feel you, exam and studying stress isn’t easy. It can make you ill, make you have sleepless nights and ultimately, affect your studies. I know that I sometimes struggle with sleeping knowing I have three deadlines (all in the space of two days) right around the corner and your mind attempts to work out just how you’re going to do what seems like such an impossible task. But, I’m here to tell you, it is possible. It is doable. And you’ll soon be reaping the benefits. Take some time out, grab a cuppa (or some fresh lemonade) and have a read through my tips for coping during exam and study season.
01. Make Sure To Stay In Routine
Try and keep your body and mind in some sort of routine. If you normally wake up at 8am and start your day, attempting to wake up your body at 6am to fit in my more studying won’t be as beneficial as you think. It’s the same with sleeping, staying up till early hours in the morning isn’t going to do you any favours. Your mind needs to rest. Also, try and eat meals at the same time each day; keep yourself in a somewhat normal routine and nothing should be thrown too much out of the ordinary. Which leads me on to…
02. Don’t Compromise on Sleep
Even I’m tempted to stay up to ridiculous times in the morning to finish writing that one last paragraph, or finishing reading that journal I’m halfway through but I know that getting in atleast 8 hours of snooze time is going to be more beneficial to both my mind and body. It allows my mind to stop buzzing and trying to keep note of the copious amounts of information I’m trying to put in it. It allows it to stop for 8 hours, re-fresh and refuel ready for the new day. Keeping your sleep routine healthy will hopefully stop you from feeling too tired, will hopefully stop you from needing to take daily naps and keep you feeling awake enough to complete your studies.
02. Tidy Space, Tidy Mind
When you’re as busy as you are around exam time, it can be so easy to get your surroundings in a mess. Unwashed plates piling up, the laundry basket overfilling the makeup laying open on your dressing table. It’s go easy to get caught up but by keeping your surroundings tidy, you’ll have lovely, clean open space to work, it’s one less thing to do and one less thing to stress about. Spend 5-10 minutes (or longer if you need it) tidying up your room/kitchen/bathroom, put all the clothes away, put your washing on, hoover, whatever it needs. Do. Not only is it beneficial, it give you a break and you may even find it therapeutic. Which is always good!
03. Keep Social
One night a week atleast, try and arrange something to do with your squad that doesn’t involve any exams & studying! Hop to the cinema, eat your body weight in food at your favourite restaurant, pack a few snacks and head to the beach, or simply go to a pub for a few drinks. It’s so important to keep sane and see the people you love the most and even if it doesn’t seem like it, I promise you, there is always time.
04. Set Goals and Rewards
Probably my favourite tip out of the bunch! You’re working so hard and hopefully (I have no doubt you will) get a brilliant grade when everything is marked. But, sometimes it can take months for your grade to make it’s way back to you, so you’re left in the dark for a while playing that awful waiting game. So, why not set yourself mini rewards once you hit your goals? For instance, one of my recent goals were to write 1,000 words by the end of that day, the reward? I got to go home and have a takeaway (it was so good). Not only did it spur me on, it also meant I got something to look forward to and enjoy. It’s so important for your mind an soul and there’s nothing like a little treat to reward yourself with. We love it.
05. Remember you’re going to boss it
It’s so important to remember there is only so much you can do. The pressure is so high at the this time of year; tutors, peers, perhaps even parents and family might be on your back (even unintentionally) to do well and it’s so easy to feel like the world may just collapse upon you. In those moments of intense stress, take a few minutes out, go for a walk, listen to your favourite song and simply remind yourself that you have got this. Work hard, play hard, it all ends up being worthwhile. And you won’t even think about this stress you’re feeling about exams & studying in a few months time when you’re sunbathing in the garden with a cheeky cocktail… I can picture it now!
If you do have exams and coursework at the moment, I wish you the very best of luck! I’m currently battling with three massive deadlines that have officially taken over my life and even know I’ve only got three weeks left, it’s so hard to see the end! But, here we go, I’ll be raising a glass to all us when I’ve submitted that final, all important hand-in!