With exam period over, most students get that “fresh start” feeling just in time for the new term. Every student will understand how easy it is to tell yourself that you’re going to do a million and one things better this term, that you’re going to exercise more and study everyday and keep a planner with all your daily “to do” lists. BUT(!) … It never lasts. And this is where the problem arises for most of you.
Now there is a simple solution to this – to get into the habit of a solid routine. Unfortunately change always takes some getting used to, but it’s one of those things that after a couple of months, you start to wonder why you found it so hard to make the change in the first place!
The first thing I would recommend is a healthier daily routine. The following suggestions should give you more hours in the day to accomplish your goals, give you more energy to complete your tasks and give you that sense of being ahead of the game. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than the stress and anxiety that comes from being ill-prepared, whether it be for an exam, a project, an essay, etc.
- My first piece of advice is to sort out your sleeping patterns. Now obviously this will depend on each individual and the work/school hours that you have to work around, however establishing the daily amount of sleep you need and sticking to it is essential. That Saturday morning lie-in only leads to later nights and more consequent lie-ins, making it harder to get up come Monday morning.
For more information on how to sort out your sleeping patterns: Sorting Out Sleeping Patterns
- Next, plan out a rough daily routine and live by it. Make sure to put aside personal time for your own hobbies, time for exercise, time for studying and time for eating. Don’t set routines that you’re not going to be happy about carrying out. Make sure each day has something interesting that you look forward to, even if it’s only an hour you’ve put aside to go swimming or draw or whatever other hobby you enjoy. It’s important for you to feel excited about the day ahead.
- Fill your study time with tasks. If you don’t have something written in ink to do one day, it’ll will be so much easier to just say “I don’t have anything major that needs attention today, I’ll leave it for now”. Whereas, if you’ve set aside that time to do a certain essay, or read chapters 3 through to 5, it’ll be harder to justify abandoning the task. Another good tip is to plan to study with someone. For most people this can’t be a daily thing, but if you can manage once or twice a week to meet with a classmate and study together, you know that at least twice a week you are going to get some studying done. This will also make you less likely to abandon your own personal study sessions inbetween study groups, as you’ll want to keep up with the others in your group.
- I would also recommend making sure that you spend some time each week on “creative study”. This is just my term for learning something you don’t have to learn. When studying a degree at university, all your classes are very related and after having to study the same sort of subjects for months on end, you can lose some of that passion for the topic. It’s important to know that learning new things is still fun and interesting. The easiest way I find to do this is just simply to take 15 minutes a day to learn something unrelated to your field of study. For me personally I like to read up on movie trivia, physics and different world cultures. These topics are completely unrelated to veterinary, but they’re subjects that interest me and they remind me that learning doesn’t have to be stressful!
- My last piece of advice for the day would be to exercise. It’s just one of those things that makes you feel happier and good about yourself. I always feel in a more productive mood, if I’ve cycled to and from university that day, or if I’ve gone for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a grueling exercise regime, that makes you ache and hurt all over, just something that gets you up and moving and feeling healthier.
I hope this article has been useful and I will make sure to add an update on how following my own advice went!