• TOG

Stress Busting


School, homework and then Oxford work on top...there's no doubt this can all get pretty stressful at times.

I remember, in the October half term of applying to Oxford, spending every day reading and writing notes that had nothing to do with school but everything to do with Oxford. I made a folder split into sections with all the authors I'd covered, their texts, quotes and my thoughts and ideas. This proved to be so useful when it got to interview as I could just refresh them all in my mind. However clever you are, no one remembers everything, so writing your ideas down is really important!

Being organised is certainly a good way to combat stress and the best way to ensure this is to have a plan. Make sure all the essential application dates are in your calendar and write what you plan to do each day for your 'Oxford work'. This doesn't have to be hours of work, it might just be reading a poem, listening to a podcast or watching a documentary but it will mean in the run up to interview, you'll be immersing yourself in your subject.

If you have someone you can talk to, be it a friend, relative or teacher, try to vocalise what you've done each day. This will not only help you at interview but also help you get your stress off your chest. Explaining what you've done, how it's going and what your plan is will help you to feel in control.

Taking a bit of time out is essential too. Your brain can only stay focused for so long, so make sure you take breaks and give yourself time to reflect on your ideas; if you just keep on reading like a sort of machine you might find you're not absorbing the information.

In order to stay motivated, give yourself little incentives, maybe when you finish work you'll go out with your friends, watch your favourite TV programme, play sport or have a relaxing bath, whatever it is you enjoy doing, use it as something to look forward to.

Top Tips

* Plan, plan, plan - this will help you to stay organised and in control.

* Don't overwhelm yourself with 'Oxford work' but rather study in small, meaningful chunks.

* Talk about the application process and your subject - both to help you arrange your ideas and get any stress off your chest.

* Take some time out to prevent brain overload.

* Give yourself incentives and goals.

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