Studying over Christmas

Creative Edge in the snow

Whether you’re a student at university, or a student in sixth form or college, you most likely have some work you should be doing right now: essays, assignments, coursework, reports, or the dreaded revision. But let’s be honest, with Christmas fast approaching and winter beginning in earnest on the 21st (the winter solstice), work is probably the last thing you want to be doing.

Now don’t fret, I’m not going to tell you that you’ve got to forgo the festivities to stay on top of your work load. My main piece of advice is to plan your distractions. What I mean is that you’re going to to be busy over the holidays with things unrelated to your studies: quality time with friends from home, family, last minute shopping, and possibly eating copious amounts of food. What I find helpful is to take note of when you think you’ll be likely to be doing all this socialising and plan your work around it. Slot in little revision sessions, or dedicated working periods, every other day when you know you’ll be relatively free from distractions. This will help you stay on track for January exams or deadlines without missing out on any of the fun.

Sometimes you need to be a bit selfish in that your work comes first. If you have work you know needs doing, you may have to turn down social activities to get it all done, even if it is your family – you’re allowed to say no! Ideally, you won’t have to, as long as you plan ahead. If you’re having trouble pinning down the exact timings of your social events, then scheduling a short half an hour study session on an uncertain day will guarantee you get something done. If even that is too much and you feel you need to revise, then carrying around flashcards on a busy day will ensure you’ll have something to feast your brain on. Otherwise, set time aside when you know you won’t be busy, and get working.

I myself have a written report due in January for Molecular Biology, and a closed book exam for both Molecular Biology and Life On The Edge. So I’m going to have to follow my own advice this holiday season!

It’s not long now… *cry*!

Hi guys,

It’s very quickly becoming the end of a lot of things.

I’ve finished my course, like it’s completely done. Goodbye seminars, lectures and dissertation and hello the waiting game. I’m not a worrier until the day of my results so I’m not going to stress until then, what will be, will be and all.

It’s weird that I’m finishing as you are probably starting. Exams are right around the corner and it’s now the time to get your head done and study like mad to get the grades you need for EHU. Planning is crucial for busy exam periods. Post-it-notes, spider-grams and colour coding does make a difference if that’s the type of learner you are. Films, short documentaries and YouTube clips are also good, I mean we all remember the Pythagoras song from maths, don’t we? Revision group sessions are also extremely helpful to bonus ideas off one another, but if you’re going to get distracted it’s probably not the best route.

KEY TIP: You MUST have some down time. There is literally no point in burning out before and exam. Obviously the lead up to an exam you should be putting more hours in, but 24/7 is not the way to go. Balance your schedule with chill time (go see friends, watch your favourite tv show, sleep) and revision time (create a timetable if that helps).

Don’t panic, take your time and please remember that it’s not all about the grade you get. YOU ARE NOT A GRADE!


Until next time…