On staying motivated
Revisions this year have felt very strange to me, especially because our lectures ended so long ago and so the revision period has now been going on for quite a while. Now this is on one part a great thing because it means that you have plenty of time to study but it also means that it can be a bit difficult to stay motivated for such a long stretch of time. A lot of you are probably studying for one exam or another, so I thought I would share some of the things that I have found help me stay motivated.
Take breaks! I don’t mean small 10 minute breaks in between hours of revisions (although those can be helpful) but real breaks when you feel like you’re not capable of taking in any more information, or when you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed. I always feel guilty for taking breaks but this year more than before I have realized how essential they are. Last week I started feeling very tired and overwhelmed by everything, to the point that I couldn’t really focus on anything, so I made myself take a true, long break for the weekend with absolutely no studying so that I could actually relax. Exams are stressful, and sometimes small breaks alone aren’t enough to replenish your energy and keep focused so these larger breaks can be very beneficial and will help you get back to work with more motivation.
Be proud of yourself! You might not even notice it but do be proud of all that you have achieved this year! Looking through all of my notes, it is so odd to me that a year ago I had little to no knowledge about any of it, but I can now confidently discuss corporate liability, mortgages or the implications of finding a snail in a beer bottle! Even if you don’t remember everything word for word, and even if some concepts are still difficult to understand,think back to how little you knew about it before and how much you know now.
Do things your way. You’ll find that everyone studies very differently. Some like to start very early and others work better under pressure closer to deadlines. If you know what works for you, don’t feel like you aren’t doing things ‘the right way’ and don’t compare your progress to other’s too much. Yes it can be good to see how far along everyone else is so you have an idea of where you stand, but set your own goals and targets as well. Personally I tend to start revising very early because I learn best by re-writing my notes and reading everything multiple times, and I know that I’m incapable of cramming. Trust yourself and know how you work best. And if you haven’t quite found what works best for you, then use revisions to experiment and figure out how you remember things best.
Remind yourself that exams and revisions will end soon and then you are free for the summer.I have been focused on revisions for almost two months, and I still have almost a month to go before they are all over. At this point it can feel like everything is consumed by revisions, but it is important that exams are only temporary and although they can seem very intimitading and looming over your days right now, pretty soon you will be handing in that last paper and be free to focus on else.