(aka how to get through 9th week exams)
Studying is hard.... and often very boring, particularly when you’ve already been revising for a lengthy period of time. The hardest part of studying, for me, is trying to ever so painfully claw your way through those last few weeks and days of work before an exam. You’ve seen other people start (and finish) exams already and so by this point motivation is minimal. Of course you still want to do your best, but that enthusiasm and energy you once felt for your chosen subject/s is beginning to falter at the thought of alternatively lazing about in the sun with an ice cream and a nice, cold, fruity beverage.
So, what can you do to catapult yourself back into productivity?
Here I present 5 different points that just might help.
1. Find a study buddy. No, not a chatty buddy. This is a strictly academic relationship. Said study buddy must be willing to wake up at 8am and accompany you to a chosen place of work by 9am. Breakfast with said study buddy is also a nice touch though must not, by any means last past 9am, or you’ll then have to wait until the next 15 or 30 or 00 on the clock because let’s face it... you’re sick of your subject and would do anything to avoid starting in the morning.
2. Studying outside is great! RIP hay fever sufferers. In particular, the Botanical Gardens or the grounds of big, green space college like Magdalen or LMH (take your bodcard to the porters and voila, you have yourself an entire deer park’s worth of study space). Studying outside is best when you are alone, and without wifi – essentially remove all distractions but be amongst the moving world in order to make studying feel less like studying. Outdoor work is great for last minute revision and post exam, pre next exam chilled (but also very, very, very, very not chilled *internal screaming*) work where research tools aren’t necessary and cue cards/mind maps can be created and learned to the heart’s content.
3. Schhnnaacks (if you don’t get that reference we can’t be friends). Food is your brain’s best friend!!! Pre pack snack/lunch boxes in the evening and then in the morning you can just grab your tupperware and yer off... Having sat finals I am well aware of the disgust one feels at oneself when Lunchtime You discovers that Evening You had decided you would be healthy tomorrow; however providing your body with all its essential nutrients is proven to increase productivity and fact retention so perhaps those carrot sticks aren’t so repulsive after all?
4. Colours (wow I love colours, colours saved my degree and even my colour blind best friend started using colours because even different shades of black are more exciting than the one ey, Alex?) Get yourself some coloured card from Rymans or just whip out that multicolour pen you’ve been showing off since you peaked in year 5 and start making colour coordinated notes. Even if, like me, you are entirely unsystematic in everything that you do, colours change up a bland piece of revision and make looking back through notes considerably more exciting (okay maybe that was a bit dramatic but it’s better than black and white).
5. Breathe – like, actually just stop and breathe. Take some time for yourself, put on a face mask, play some football, remember why you came here, why you chose your subject, why you love it and why, then, you should get that behind back into gear asap and smash those last few days! Take regular breaks for food and water and, crucially(!), social interaction! You will go insane if you lock yourself away and wellbeing is so much more important than grades, despite how hard Oxford workload tries to suggest otherwise.