So my exam season is OVER thank goodness. But, I know lots of you aren’t even halfway through. I know first hand how stressful exams can get, even though in the end I always look back and wonder why I ever worried so much! There were a few little things that helped me get through the two weeks from hell, and they aren’t the normal; revise lots, do exercise, cliché nonsense. These are just a few bits and bobs I’ll do to just take my mind off the looming events of the next day and just make some time for myself.
- Have a bath. Obviously make sure you are keeping your personal hygiene up, because trust me, there is nothing worse than sitting next to somebody in an exam that smells a bit pongy. Take an hour to just relax in the bath, maybe buy a bath bomb, or light a few candles and just relax for a bit. Don’t forget, nothing is more important than making sure you are ok yourself.
- Try to get some fresh air. True, this can be tricky with the English weather like it is, but maybe try to sit in the garden for a bit, walk your dogs (if you have any!) or simply sit in your room with a window open. Fresh air helps me be more relaxed, and I know for sure that if I am getting stressy at college, the best thing is for me to take a walk to the Greggs round the corner.
- Listen to a playlist that gets you in the mood for studying. Yes, I know it sucks that you have to actually study, but when you do, if music is something that helps you concentrate, then go for it. Everyone is different so this is a personal one, but if it’s something that works then try choosing something less ‘rock’ and more ‘relax’.
- Get up in the morning with plenty of time to make yourself feel ready for the day. If that means getting out of bed 15 minutes earlier so you wash your hair, then try and do it. I know at the time of 6 AM it doesn’t feel like it will be worth it, but just take a few extra minutes in the morning to make yourself feel beautiful. Feeling a natural day? Wear no makeup! Feeling a little more self-conscious? Go all out and use all your makeup skills to sculpt your face until it’s chiseled to the bone! I try to wash my hair every morning because it just makes me feel more ready for the day ahead, and one less thing to worry about halfway through the hot and sticky afternoon, but if I don’t have time I tend to double braid my hair and get it up and out the way.
- Pack your bag the night before, making sure you have everything you could possibly need. People that know me, know that I carry practically everything with me. I’ve been called a walking pharmacy! Take rainbow highlighters, and glitter gel pens and funky Post-It Notes. When you’ve been forced to write with a boring black biro for hours, a sparkly pen can really liven things up a bit. (Not in your exam though!)
- If you are that way inclined, why not go for a run? I know, it’s not for everybody, but if you know exercise takes your mind off things, get up off your ass and go for a 20-minute jog, if you can’t face a half marathon right that second!
- If you have a job, don’t take time off! I know that sounds backwards, but I found that working gave me something to take my mind off things and let me relax for a bit, (even if it was 30 degrees and I was standing in-front of an oven for a good 6 hours!) If you obviously don’t have enough time to work and revise, then do take some time out, but really think whether you need the time off or whether you just aren’t time-managing very well.
- Talking about time management, take a few hours out of a busy day to get together with some friends for lunch or a coffee. Just have a catch-up, and if you are feeling really guilty for not studying, then talk about revision over your lunch. Test each other and see how well each of you know areas of the subjects you take. Make it ‘fun’, if that’s possible, so you are truly having a break from the books.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a list of rules you should follow for success in your exams (whatever the title says), but I do find these little things just made my exams a bit less worrying. The most important thing is to make sure you are having time to yourself, and however you do that is your choice, but make sure you fit it into the schedule because revision 24/7 is draining and won’t help at the end of the day.
I wish everyone luck in their remaining exams and I’ll hopefully be back soon with some ideas on kick-starting your summer!
Thanks for reading!