University is one of the best times of your life, but it's also the most stressful. The amount of work doubles each year and by the time you reach your final year you are utterly stressed with not only assignments but also those dreaded final exams.
I am currently in my final year and after spending my 3rd year studying abroad in France, I've found it much harder to get back into the swing of things. I studied in France for almost a year and it is a lot different to the crazy hectic lives people in Ireland live. France is so relaxed. You would never see anyone rushing to catch a train or bus. Everybody is very calm and chilled. Even during exam time I found myself a lot calmer then I did at my home university.
Right now it is study week for me! I am studying an International BA in English and French. My exams are in 2 weeks and the wonderful lecturers have also given us two 2,000 word essays to do in French, due 4 days before my first exam. So you could say that I'm freaking out a little bit!
I think half of me is still back in France, being all cool and collected while the other half is here in Ireland running around like a headless chicken spending more time stressing over the amount of work to do rather then actually doing any!
The view above my desk isn't helping with the daydreaming either!
|Dreaming of being back in Paris... Ooh la la..|
Procrastination is the worst thing ever. I know it, you know it, everyone knows it. No matter how much you convince yourself that you have enough time, you also seem to find yourself at 3am the night before the exam, eyes burnt out of your head, your legs unable to stay still from all the coffee you've had, possibly along with the occasional redbull. Standard. All- nighter's just are not worth it. If you haven't the work done there's no point in trying to cram the night before.
However I myself have been a culprit to the odd all- nighter in the past. But in fairness it is a student's right of passage. You haven't been a student unless you've stayed up all night studying high on caffeine!
Study is difficult thing to teach. Everyone has their own methods. I wish there was an easy way, but you have to sit down and work at it. Anyone studying a language will know there are endless hours of study needed. It can get too much sometimes and you feel fed up that you're not getting anywhere but keep going and you will eventually get there!
I try to set myself goals and then reward myself at the end. For example: I'm going to study this topic for 2 hours and if I've managed to learn it and stayed concentrated on it then I can watch the new episode of Grey's Anatomy. Setting little goals is a lot more achievable then setting a huge one. Take it in stages and by the end all those little goals will add up!
TIP: Make sure you get fresh air. There's only so much coffee can do but exercise can be your best friend during exam time. Put on your headphones and go for a walk. It clears your mind and after it you'll be left feeling refreshed and ready to hit the books again. Whenever I get frustrated with what I'm trying to learn I need to take a step back and leave it, if only for a half an hour, and go for a walk. It really does help and it's nice to take a break from the library or your room.
Telling yourself to study and just do it is a lot harder said then done, especially since your concentration span is limited and without realising you're back on Facebook. Big difference between motivation and concentration, but I know where I want to be when I finish university and without putting in the work now I'm never going to get there so my motivation is going to have to be my concentration for the next while! Right now it's going to be tough and there are days I wake up thinking why did I pick this?! and do I have to study?! But in a few months when the Dean of the university hands me my piece of paper I'll be able to appreciate the work I did and my poor depressed and stressed out self will be long forgotten!
In a few weeks I'll be finished for Christmas and the thoughts of finishing are keeping me together. Plus I've a few things planned after exams so at least I have something to look forward to!
What about you? How do you deal with study and exams?