It has been a long time since I last posted on my blog, but I found out some blogging etiquette that disrupted my planned posts (i.e. you cannot quote and cite an article in a blog post as you would in an essay, you must contact the author/s of the work and ask for their permission to refer to their work). I thought to focus on my assignments at University first though, and since I am now near the end of my assessment period, I thought I would do a quick blog. I know some students (at all stages: University, sixth form/ college, secondary school and primary school) are not near the end of their assessment period though, and this blog post is dedicated to those students. Below, I have outlined five tips for keeping the exam period a happy and healthy time:
1). Be organised. I love organisation, and there will be a blog post on organisation in the future, so now I am going to tell you a few benefits of keeping organised. The most obvious is that it just helps you to know where you are, what you are doing and when you are doing it. It gives you a finish line, a target, and you are not running around chaotically, trying to work out your bearings. You can feel extremely satisfied when you tick things off your to-do list, whether it is one major thing, or a few small things. It feels good, and you can breathe, no longer submerged in a list of tasks. Physical organisation, whether it be a diary, or files, or storage boxes, can also look really pretty (depending on your point of view of course).
2). Keep healthy. You need to keep physically and mentally healthy, especially in high-stress times. This means eating and drinking right, avoiding potentially harmful substances, exercising, and taking the time to de-stress and have fun. For ways to de-stress, try looking at what extra-curricular activities or support systems your educational establishment offers, and explore the ones you think will be most helpful for you.
3). Find the right work/life balance. I cannot stress the importance of this. You need to put in some effort in order to learn, and you need to revise to make sure you do not forget information, but you also need to learn to take a break so that you do not burn out. Overworking is just as bad as underworking, so you must find the right work/ life balance for you. If you need some help in establishing one, talk to a family member, a friend, or a teacher.
4). Ask questions. Before you come out of that exam, or hand in that assignment, thinking, ‘Oh, I should have asked my teacher/ lecturer that question last week when I had the chance’, ask them! They are not going to think you are stupid for asking a question/ questions. Whether you are just unsure, or you did not catch that point they made, I think they will just be happy you take the time to care that you understand the subject you are studying. Teachers can get really stressed by the idea of their students not understanding something, so if you do not understand, asking questions will keep you both happy.
5). Stay positive. It is easier said than done, but you really do need to keep positive, and it is an important task all year round. Think of one positive thing about your course, and think of one positive thing about yourself (perhaps every few days, or however often you see fit). If you cannot, ask a friend. Here is one: you are a caring and patient person to have read this post so far!
You have probably heard these tips reiterated so many times, but they are important, and they are coming from a student who overworked and should have taken a few of these tips herself some time ago. She is taking them now, and they are really helpful.
Finally, I just want to wish you good luck with your assignments!