Tab Guide to maintaining your sanity during Exam Term

Make it to May Week with your sanity relatively intact. Well, what was there to begin with.

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Before the offensive monstrosity which is exam season, you can count on The Tab to guide you through the delicate process of, once again, becoming sane.

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”
“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.
“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Let’s face it, you have to be a little bit broken inside to want to study at Cambridge.

Sure, the whole Hogwarts vibe seems terrifically romantic, until you get pooled to Girton that is. Passing up on the great nightlife of London, the drugs and wavy garms of Bristol and the infinitely less stressful life of just about any other university for ugly gowns, stuffy supervision rooms and books, so many books, doesn’t really seem like an exciting prospect (the fact that there’s a literary reference before this article even started says it all).

And yet here we all are, slaving away for our exams. It’s like Dawn of the Dead out here, Modafinil-high zombies anxiously flitting about, escaping the sunlight instead of basking in it as they should be. And on a serious note, mental health is something that we should all be taking seriously during this period, as the added stress and pressure can both exacerbate and induce anxiety and depression. It’s time to rectify this.

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How it should be done

Of course, we know that being students, finances are an issue. Unless you went to public school where the price was far higher to do the IB than to study a full degree, you’ll want to get your money’s worth – don’t worry, we’ve got you covered:

Self-love

And no, we don’t mean what you think.  Unfortunately, the competitive atmosphere that preceded getting here seems to have come back with a vengeance once the sun comes out. People act like they’re “soo fucked for exams”, only to then secretly swot up behind the scenes, making you look like a mug in your revision supervisions when you’ve barely read the text for the first time (it’s not personal, I swear.) Instead, we should be channelling this energy towards looking after each other. We propose massages. Happy ending or otherwise, they are a perfect way to de-stress and let out the pent up frustration of knowing that no matter how hard you work now, you’ll be lucky to get a Desmond.

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Time for the happy ending

Self-exploration

Again, we still don’t mean what you think. Think about it, how can one become whole without a little bit of me-time? Sure, it sounds like some hippie psuedo-Buddhist nonsense, but it’s really not. Throw yourself at the beauty of Cambridge by (stifle your gasps) leaving your college. Go to the botanical gardens, our student cards get us in for free. Bring a picnic, some mates, some tunes and enjoy the lush surroundings while considering what it really means to experience true freedom. It will feel like a trap, but it isn’t.

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Pastel work worthy of a History of Art thesis

Sing

Maybe I’m just partial to singing in the shower. But seriously, why does it take a shit club that can’t even decide on its own name and inexplicably overpriced VKs to bring us into a communal Bohemian Rhapsody. You don’t have to be an Adele to spontaneously burst out into song. Next time you’re sitting in your college bar, see if you can get a round going. Whether it’s Wonderwall or “I’d rather be at Oxford than at John’s”, a good banger always helps you and those in your vicinity to feel infinitely better.

Drink*

In moderation of course. But in order to fully commit to May Week, you definitely need a run-up. It’s just not healthy to save up a year’s worth of hard drinking for a few days. Cure yourself of the mental trauma inflicted upon your poor delicate mind with a drink or two in your college bar now and then (remember to sing!).

It is a fine balance reaching that delicious oblivion between delectably tipsy and way too far gone, but if you hit that right note while listening to some exceptionally good music, you’ll find a more realistic version of nirvana.

*not technically free but who cares, if there’s a will there’s a way

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The world’s shittest pop band

Heavy petting

No, not that kind. In light of Tit Hall’s “Puppy & Cake Day” over the weekend which was unfortunately only for students of the college, why not give out some free hugs. Hugs apparently get oxytocin, the “love drug”, flowing through your body, reducing stress, helping you sleep better and boosting positive emotions. You don’t need to take a pill in Ibiza, or Cambridge for that matter, to get some good quality love going. If you’re really that miffed about missing the puppies, you could always buy a second-hand copy of Nintendogs. Whatever it takes to get some puppy love in your life.

Pretend to be a bat and hang off a tree in your gown

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Because, why not?

Either way, there’s no need to stress. May Week is just over the horizon. With our handy tips, you’ll be drowning your sorrows in no time, like a sane study at any other university.