Maria Petreanu tells us her tips on how to make the most of free time whilst keeping sane and prepared for the upcoming coursework/ exam period.
With exams and coursework around the corner, making the most of your time can be a challenging task, and having free time on your hands can often feel a bit confusing.
If you’re someone who prefers to do things last minute and pretends due coursework is a distant dream during your time off, now is your chance to shake things up a bit. Why? For starters, the last few days before your deadline will be agonising and you will seriously judge holiday-you for not pausing that Netflix show and getting some reading done. Also, this unforgiving thing called “conscience” will probably try to alert you that things need to get done and stress you out anyway whilst you’re trying to sun-soak by the pool.
Instead, why not try to incorporate little bits of writing and revising into your everyday plans? It will give you some short-term “purpose” and feel oh-so-rewarding in the long term! Here are a few things to help you out when you don’t know where to start.
Make sure you go into this with a few specific tasks you would like to accomplish. Have a look through your upcoming coursework pieces and exams and write up a plan of what you need to tackle. If that sounds too overwhelming already, don’t worry about making it a thoroughly detailed plan, instead focus on the big picture and the key steps you need to take. From there, you can identify some of the things on that list which doesn’t seem too “scary” to you, like doing a few readings, writing up some introductions/essay plans or organising your lecture notes. Start with something small but make sure you set daily/weekly goals and try to stick to them!
There’s a reason why all productive people say they love a good TO DO list. I mean, you can’t blame them – ticking off a completed task feels so bloody satisfying, it basically makes all the work worth it. Try to make daily/weekly TO DO lists (following the revision plans and goals you have established for yourself) and be realistic! If two readings/week are too much, start with one reading and see how you feel. Make your lists really detailed to encourage you to get through the tasks and tick that line off!
I know your couch/bed are your happy places and working from there sounds really nice and cosy. Unfortunately, being really cosy doesn’t facilitate efficiency when it comes to revising, so maybe try to switch it up a bit. If you’re at home, try maybe using the dining room or a spare room to do your work. Any quiet place which won’t let you get too cosy and turn your reading sesh into a Youtube sesh will do. If you’re not at home, why not visit a nearby café with your laptop and be one of those Instagramable people who work in public whilst fashionably sipping on a cup of chai latte. It might make you find revising kinda cool!
Remember you are being prepared and therefore all good work should be rewarded 10 times more! If you stick to your daily/weekly goal, make sure to reward yourself with fun activities and lots of downtime in between. Uni work doesn’t have to be daunting and unpleasant! Try making it part of your daily routine rather than seeing it as a horrible chore. By incorporating lots of breaks, snacks and fun activities after, you can turn your revision time into a productive, mature-like activity and get yourself used to mixing work and play! And most importantly, you are your own boss when it comes to organising your free time, so be nice to yourself and don’t lose sight of the big picture!
Of course, make sure you put your exam-period skills to work and use whatever methods you prefer when it comes to revising. For me, it’s coloured pens and highlighters! Making the most of your time in terms of Uni work is definitely do-able and can be fun if you try to plan ahead! Don’t forget to give yourself a break if you end up missing some of those initial goals and remember to have lots of fun!
Featured image by: Omeiza Haruna