The exam period (and uni in general): a time filled with extreme stress, comfort eating and no sleep.

However, for some, they have the privilege of studying a course with no exams, therefore they have found themselves with three weeks of free time, and/or a generally flexible timetable. Alternatively, others may have finished their exams early, or maybe they only had one or two. Whilst their friends are studying in the library, it seems like the only thing to do is watch Netflix all day and not leave your bed unless for food.  But this isn’t the only thing that you can be doing with your free time!Below is a list I’ve compiled of the more productive things that you can do if you are stuck for ideas:

Go to the gym

The start of the year is the perfect time to start fresh and get in shape by either joining one of Loughborough’s gyms, or attending a fitness class. Going to the gym is a perfect way to destress and be healthy at the same time. It’s also a great way to be social and spend time with friends whilst not drinking your body weight in alcohol. If you don’t like to to go to the gym, run outside, or pick a sport that you enjoy and play regularly – exercising as a team can be just as fun as on your own, see which is best for you!

Catch up with your family

Before the hectic nature of university life picks up in semester 2, you should keep up with your family by calling, Skyping and using FaceTime regularly. After all, you family are the only people that won’t get sick of you calling them multiple times a day. It’s important that you keep connected whilst you can, as you may not have time as much in the future.

Stop watching TV

Whilst yes, it is good to relax and catch up on your favourite TV shows, there are better things to be doing. For example, reading a good book: this can be both for pleasure and gets you one step ahead on your reading for next semester. Podcasts are also a more entertaining way to fill time, and you can listen to them whilst at the gym or on a run.

Take a nap

Most people do not get adequate sleep during the week. Why not just kick back and take a snooze for an hour or two? It’s the ultimate free energy refresher. Also, for those who have finished exams early, you may have been working long into the night with early mornings, you deserve some well-earned rest.

Volunteer your time: Get involved with Action or a RAG project

There are countless volunteer projects out there that simply need nothing more than your time. A day working for a volunteer cause is a day well spent: you can meet other people while making a positive contribution to society and working your body and your mind for the benefit of others. You may even pick up a new skill, and either way, it will leave you at the end of the day knowing you used your gifts to help out others.

So, next time you find yourself with a big gap in your timetable, or free time in general, consider the points above and see how much you really can get done.

Grace Woodsford


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