It’s the end of March, that can mean only one thing. Well, let’s rephrase that. It can mean only two thing; the first being a chocolate induced coma thanks to all those lovely Easter eggs and the second being, EXAMS! They are drawing far too near and so it’s time to get revising and panicking. How can you make sure you don’t burn yourself out when revising? Well, luckily for you, we have the answer.
Tip 1 – Music
Now, this is something you must take care with. Music can often be distracting especially if you’re that person who loves heavy dubstep or death metal. However, certain types of music can be far less distracting and may actually help you keep a cool head and absorb all those physics formulae and biological processes. Try listening to a bit of classical or orchestral music. These tend to be minimally distracting and can in fact be quite soothing. I personally like to listen to Nicholas Hooper’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix suite. You could also try some Zen or Chinese/Japanese traditional music. This is often very calming and cause little to no distraction.
Tip 2 – Your Phone
Your phone will become your worst enemy during revision. We live in an era where we are glued to our phones. Let it go. Turn it off and hide it in a drawer or get your parents to keep it for an hour or two (I advise turning it off prior to handing it over. You don’t want any mad selfies of your mother and the dog.).
Tip 3 – Breaks
Revision is a tedious task at the best. Ten minutes can feel like three hours and absolute boredom can mean that you stop taking in the information. Take regular breaks from your work. Let your brain cool down and absorb what you’ve just hammered into it. Get up, make yourself a cup of tea; go pat the dog; feed the goldfish; dance around the kitchen table. Do whatever you like, just make sure that around every 20 minutes you take a wee 5 – 10 minute break.
Tip 4 – Exercise
The great outdoors is your friend during study leave. After doing an hour or two of revision, get outside (if it’s not being classic Scotland and the sky is attempting to drown all who step outside). Exercise is a fantastic way of maintaining a healthy mental and physical state. You don’t have to run a marathon, just a little walk or a casual cycle down to the shops and back would do. Removing yourself from your study space will help keep you motivated – I use that term lightly as it is revision we’re on about here – and will prevent you from burning out completely.
Tip 5 – Sleep
Being a teenager myself, I love a good sleep. Unlike some members of the Press committee – you know who you are – I like to get up at a reasonable hour. Try and stick to almost your school day regime when on study leave. Don’t be getting out of bed at 12:30 and slowly getting round to studying. Aim to be up at around 08:00 at the latest and try to get to revising around 09:00 as you would be had you been still in school.
Tip 6 – Food
As a teenager, I am not only a big fan of sleep but also food. When you’re on study leave make sure to eat well – or at least not atrociously. When you get up, make sure to have a good breakfast. Get some tattie scones on and a nice cup of Lady Grey. Try and avoid eating while you are studying, it can be really distracting and you’ll probably regret it the next time you step on the scales. Make sure to eat a good lunch and get in a good bit of tea as well. Please note, tea is the greatest discovery since Columbus found out the Earth wasn’t flat. However, don’t drink too much of it. Caffeine is not great for you, so do restrain yourself slightly. Of course, you could always swap onto decaffeinated tea, fruit teas or chia tea – I personally recommend the latter.
And there you have it, my guide to how to prevent yourself from burning out when you’re on study leave. But, I’ve only made it to advanced highest. If you have a minute, check out this PhD student’s guide to how to study – you might gather the that this article was influenced by this video. She knows what she’s talking about.