‘Tis the season to pull all-nighters in the library and question how much we really need these degrees.
Any student knows that as we approach the season of exams, essay deadlines, and dissertations, it’s easy to put your personal well-being on the back-burner and forget to look after number one.
Here’s a list of 10 handy hints and tips to use to help you make it out of deadline time in one successful, well-balanced piece.
1. Stay hydrated
We can’t stress this one enough. Regularly drinking water increases brain function and a recently published study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who drank less water had worse memory, decreased energy and poorer concentration. So ditch the energy drinks for a cold glass of H2O and watch the genius flow.
2. Eat well
It can be tempting to live off snacks and junk food when you’re too stressed, too busy, or too tired to cook regular healthy meals. However, a balanced diet is vital in ensuring that your brain is getting the nutrients it needs to level up and absolutely smash that essay. Check out https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/healthy-student for quick and easy meals that won’t break the bank.
3. Take regular breaks
Although we know it’s tempting to power through that essay with the looming deadline and get it over and done with, it’s important to take regular breaks to allow yourself to recharge. Experts say that the perfect study : break ratio is 50 : 10 minutes but make sure you take that time away from your books and computer screen. You’ll thank yourself in the long run!
4. Get some sleep!
According to researchers at Baylor University, a better night sleep = better grades and students who got 8 hours sleep a night were more likely to get higher grades.
One tip to remember is to crawl into bed only when you’re ready to sleep. Studying or revising in bed makes your brain subconsciously associate being in bed with being mentally active, rather than a time to wind down. Make yourself a decaf tea, fill up the hot water bottle and maybe even enjoy the aromatherapeutic benefits of lavender with Lush’s Sleepy lotion: https://uk.lush.com/products/lavender/sleepy
5. Treat yo’self
One way of motivating yourself is to celebrate your small victories and treat yourself when you’ve done some hard work. We know money can be tight for students, but this doesn’t have to be retail therapy! Why not incentivise yourself by rewarding a thousand words of your dissertation with an episode of that new Netflix true crime doco you’ve been binging? Go on, mate…you deserve it.
6. Stretch your legs
As important as it is to look after yourself mentally, it’s equally as important to look after your physical health. But you don’t have to be a protein-shake chugging meathead to feel the benefits of exercise.
Venture outside now and again and remind yourself what fresh air smells like. You might even be inspired to get back to the library and finish that essay.
Probably not, but you never know.
7. Enjoy your education!
I know you’ve heard it all before but university really is an incredible opportunity to study something you love. Even though you have a mountain of textbooks that you hoped you’d never have to reference piled up next to you, remember that you chose your degree subject for a reason.
You may find it hard to believe, but it is possible to turn study sessions into a positive experience. Learn to associate the library with a place you get things done. Organise a study date with some friends, test each other on your chosen subject and when you’ve met your targets, celebrate with a messy night out.
8. Set realistic targets
Completing a 4000 word essay in 24 hours is an impressive talent, but it ain’t ideal. Start prepping for big pieces of work in plenty of time to avoid rushing last minute to reach that word count. A wise woman once said: Proper preparation prevents piss poor performance.
It was me… I said that.
I’m the wise woman.
9. Check in with your friends.
At this point in the academic year, some people may be struggling more than others and mental health can seriously impact the lives of students. If you’re looking for a sign to check in with your friends, this is it. Make plans that have nothing to do with uni and regularly ask them how they’re doing or if they want to chat.
You never know who needs a friend right now.
You might be the kind of student who thrives under the pressure of deadline season and is revelling in spending 8 hours a day in the library, but you might not. If you’re struggling in any way, whether it’s financial, academic, or emotional, there are people and places available to help you. Just check out the contact details below.
Or just pop into Student Housing (we’re based on Ilkston Road) for a chat and a cup of tea. Even our office dog, Thesiger (seen above) is more than happy to lend an ear.