By Sean (Student blogger: MSci Hons Computer Science)
You’re shaking. The unthinkable has happened- there will be no compulsory exams for the summer term. Goodbye endless hours of absentminded half-studying, hello months of frenzied Netflix binges, crazed gaming sessions and potential existential crises. Tossing your gallon-sized jar of midnight oil into the bin, you start to list every single way you can maximize your enjoyment of the coming six months.
A month in, you’re starting to go a little bit insane. You’ve watched every show on the planet- in five languages. The game industry is booming from the hours you’ve crammed in and in-game purchases you’ve blown your pocket money on. And somehow, you’re starting to realize that- oh god- you miss university!! Collective gasps resonate from the chamber that is your bedroom.
You realise you’ve let yourself get a little too loose and you should probably start preparing for next year by re-learning (or learning- I’m looking at you, lecture-skippers) the course material from this year. Alas, the comfort of the library is out of your grasp- how will you ever focus without the soothing of lime green carpets?
- Craft a clean, distraction-free study environment
The library is professionally designed to facilitate studying as much as possible, which is why you, like many others, might feel you’re at your most productive there. While you can’t whisk yourself away, one thing you can do to achieve a similar state is to create the perfect studying environment at home: one that is distraction-free, clean and has the tools you need easily within reach. Try clearing your desk and placing it near a window- or find a quiet corner of the house that vibes with you. Put your devices away if you don’t need them. It’s amazing how much difference a decent study area can make.
- Hatch a plan
It’s incredibly easy to sit down and get overwhelmed by the amount of content towering above you. A bad habit people do is try to watch lectures while eating or listening to music. Sure, you get more done, but remember that you’re here to learn. How much do you think you’ll absorb from having your lecturer talk over an episode of Tiger King? One thing you should keep in mind is you have loads of time. If you take a little time to draw up a simple chart of, lets say, which chapters you’ll cover over which weeks, I think you’ll be able to keep your focus a little better since you know what your goals are.
- Sleep Properly
It’s not a very good idea to go full holiday mode, sleeping at 4am and groggily pulling yourself out of bed at 3pm. You’ll notice many guides (e.g. fitness, mental health, academics) mention having a good sleep schedule, and that’s because sleep plays an essential role in your general well-being. With good sleep, you’ll feel refreshed and energetic, two qualities that make you more likely to soldier through your lecture notes rather than complain.
The situation’s a bit weird right now, but don’t let that come in between you and your academics! Remember, you’re paying a lot of money to study, and you definitely want to make the most out of probably the last time you’ll be in education. Best of luck!