It’s that time of year again- for festivities, brisk air, and candy canes, for frantically reviewing week three lecture slides, stifling sobs in the library toilets, and huddling up in blankets and pyjamas at 4 pm.
It doesn’t have to be like that though, you could be the studying warrior you always hoped to be. Consider the following suggestions as small (but powerful) adjustments to your study routine!
The sun sets at a ridiculous hour during this time of year, so when revising at home, don’t let yourself work into darkness. Working while the fact that is pitch-black outside can be very demotivating and convince your body that instead of studying it is time to sleep.
To act against these increasingly shorter and darker days, keep fairy lights or a lamp on after lunchtime; as the natural light fades, they will help with the transition.
Walk it off
Most people. know that exercise is a must for increasing motivation. However, it can be difficult to get yourself out of your comfy study set-up or give up that coveted library spot and head to the gym.
The university runs several ‘Stress Busting’ sessions throughout the exam period. These are short, fun exercise classes, designed to get you moving while learning something new.
If too much time indoors is a concern to you, a brisk walk around the Meadows could be a literal breath of fresh air in your routine. Some time outside will be a great distraction for when revision gets too overwhelming and you feel yourself getting more and more stressed. It will clear and refresh your mind and give you a better sense of focus when you return and sit back down to work.
It’s not healthy or productive to focus on only one thing for days on end, which often happens during exam season. It is important to remember that breaks are a necessity, but watching an episode of your favourite show or scrolling through Instagram are better suited for winding down or lunchtime than short study breaks.
One of the best ways to take breaks is to do something fun and challenging that has nothing to do with your course. Whether this be doodling, writing a paragraph of the next great classic, solving a Sudoku puzzle, or unlocking a new Duolingo level, you will come back to your revision feeling refreshed and ready to learn.
Even though these ideas for breaks might sound as equally tenuous as studying, they will keep your mind active and engaged and will do more for your productivity than an hour-long stroll on social media or several episodes of The Office.
Make studying fun
The words ‘study’ and ‘fun’ are not two that would usually be placed together’ it’s time to change that.
Is your course monotonous and dull? Try making an old-school Powerpoint presentation, complete with word art, funky transitions and fun colours. The act of creating a slideshow with all your course information will help the knowledge sink better into your brain and will be a great tool for when it’s time to review the information.
Additionally, it is understood that teaching is the best way to learn, so try explaining the material to your flatmate or friend who’s not on your course. Other ideas to try are writing a song to aid in memorisation (Hannah Montana is still an inspiration to us all) or making colourful and informative posters and hanging them around your room.
If this sounds like too much effort and creativity for you, simply getting coloured pens and making your notes more pleasing to the eye could inspire you to keep writing.
This is a stressful period for everyone, so make sure to take care of yourself. Hopefully, these tips have inspired you to go forth and conquer your revision.
Image: Jenni via Flickr