It’s official. Deadlines are fast approaching, or for many of us already here. The remnants of summer have finally left us. It seems the time to procrastinate has finally passed, and given the temperature of student flats, the library is often the only place to go. So, seeing as these deadlines sadly have to be completed, how can we make it that little bit easier and beat that burnout?
Firstly, how to get organised. Whether you’re a late-night crammer, or someone who finishes with a week to spare, (if you are, comments and tips are most welcome) being organised does actually make life a little easier. Try sitting down at the beginning of a week and writing yourself a checklist of what needs to get done, both for uni work and for other life admin. It is so satisfying to see the progress you’ve made over a week and it also makes it so much easier to focus on one thing until you’ve ticked it off! Secondly, sit down and make yourself a timeline for your assessment. Split your assessment into manageable chunks of work for each day. Try leaving a day in between finishing and proof-reading as its always more effective when you’re looking at it with a fresh perspective.
Equally, looking after yourself both physically and mentally is so important for getting through deadline season and not feeling totally overwhelmed and stressed. First, make sure you’re fuelling your body to study. Your brain needs fuel to function, and whilst coffee is the student holy grail, your body also needs good nourishment. Often when we are stressed or busy, the absolute last thing we want to do is cook, but why not spend a couple of hours at the weekend cooking for the week ahead, so that when you get in late from the library there is something ready to eat. Sainsbury’s cookies or the ‘accidentally vegan’ Fox’s dark chocolate chunky cookies, are also an essential staple.
Keeping your study space tidy can also make a big difference to making your deadlines a less hectic time. Not to mention the saying as old as time itself: tidy room, tidy mind. Nothing too drastic, but simply making your bed each morning, keeping your desk fairly organised and lighting a candle can help you avoid feeling too cooped up. If you’re studying at home you will also likely be in need of plenty or blankets and hot water bottles, because, let’s face it, student flats are all Baltic and it’s hard to concentrate when you can see your breath.
Let’s not forget, a bit of TLC is a very manageable (and often needed) way of feeling like a human being when you’re stressed and potentially sleep deprived. Dry shampoo, face masks, and hair masks are all great pick-me-ups when you’re feeling a little alien. Equally, going for a walk can be so helpful in clearing your head especially if you’ve hit a bump in your assessment, and where better to be than the Scottish capital? Edinburgh boasts so many idyllic spots.
Lastly, we all know that sleep is key to beating the burnout, but it’s just as important to make sure the last thing you see before bed isn’t your essay. Why not try listening to an audiobook? There are also some great sleep and meditation apps out there that can ease you into a peaceful sleep.
There’s a lot to be said for flat whites and ramen, which for some of us are often a more realistic coping mechanism. But often a little extra effort to get organised can help us avoid those sob worthy 3 am nights in the library… we’ve all been there.
Image: Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet via Flickr