Exam season is nearly always a stressful time, and no matter what shape your preparation and planning has taken, I’ll bet that there’s a really important part you haven’t factored in as much as you could have: looking after you.
Doing well in your exams is important. Feeling like you’ve covered every possibility, learned every case study, and reviewed every lecture and seminar is important. But you, also, are important. Yes, that might sound cliché, but a 2010 report by the National Union of Students in Scotland, found that 90.5% of students felt that exams and assessments were ‘reasonably or very stressful’, and while a bit of stress may get our adrenaline pumping and push us to do work, this is not absolutely not sustainable or possible for all.
So, what are we suggesting? First and foremost, you need to find time to relax. You can’t be revising for twenty hours a day, and you shouldn’t expect yourself to. There is so much research out there (just have a quick Google!) which tells us to take regular breaks, and that short breaks can even be useful for improving our memories. Most importantly, taking an evening to yourself and making sure you get a full seven hours’ sleep are key to maintaining a good sense of wellbeing and being your most awake and aware for your revision the following day!
If you don’t believe me, take it from one of our academics within The Dickson Poon School of Law, Senior Lecturer Jane Henderson; ‘allow yourself breaks – schedule them in, so you don’t miss them out; no one can study from dawn ‘til dusk! And having some fun is also a good idea – a relaxed person works better than someone who is tense.’ So there you have it – although everyone revises and learns in different ways, however you work best, a good nights’ sleep and some regular breaks are going to be more helpful than working solidly for three weeks with next-to-no sleep!
So, how can you use all this spare time I’ve just given back to you when you were planning to be revising? Well, my first recommendation would be to get involved with the #KCLWell campaign we’ve just started up within the School. Through the campaign, we’re putting on some short and sweet events for students to drop into, just to take ten minutes out of your revision day and do something fun!
So far, we’ve held a small pop-up with fruit smoothies and colouring in, and a film night, with more similar events planned over the coming weeks. Check out our Student Wellbeing page for more information on these, and also make sure to check out King’s Wellbeing’s Take Time Out campaign for more great events and advice over the exams season!
And if you don’t find anything you like the sounds of across either of these campaigns, you can take the advice of one of our undergraduates from our recent wellbeing pop-up; ‘go to a pub with friends and then go to Five Guys!’ Whatever works best for you, make sure to find something to do each day which helps you relax and think about something other than work!
Jack Kilker, School Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator