How to handle exam season from a seasoned second year at Newcastle University

There’s no time like the present to become an academic weapon


No seats in the library, countless late nights, and bins full of Red Bull cans – looks like it’s exam season again!

Whether you’ve been studying hard, or you’re procrastinating (like I may be writing this article), here are some tips on how to survive this exam season.

1. Don’t leave everything until the last minute

You probably don’t want to hear this, but my top piece of advice is to make sure you’re not leaving everything until the last minute. I know students seem to adore an all night cramming session, but there is no greater misery than seeing people walk home after a night out while you’ve been tirelessly labouring at your laptop.

This is potentially the most straightforward tip on the list, but somehow the hardest to achieve. Whether it’s revision or final assignments, starting earlier will relieve your stress and help you remember more.

2. Remember your friends

You’re all in this together, so use your mates to help you. My housemates and I find banging on each other’s doors in the morning as loud as we can provides a great source of motivation to get up. Plan study sessions together and make sure they hold you accountable every time you go on your phone.

Sometimes, it’s also nice just to have someone to stress out with to ease the pain. Although you might be questioning your entire degree and wondering what would happen if you dropped out to become an Ibiza DJ, if you can agonise over your existence with a friend, at least you’ll know you’re not alone.

3. Find new study spots

Escape prison (the Philip Robinson) and treat yourself to a change of scenery. There are so many cute cafes to explore. Try places like The Grand or Tiny Tiny, or venture out and see what you can find.

Alternatively, find a new place on campus. Go to the Stephenson Building’s great new space and take advantage of the funding in STEM *cries in English lit student*.

Finding new places will not only give your eyes a break from burning in the stark library lights, but it will help keep you motivated in the final stretch.

4. Take breaks

Whilst I am very much victim to locking myself in the library like a convict and going off grid in the days leading up to a deadline, unfortunately, people are right when they tell you to take a break.

Whether it’s getting out in the sun for a walk through Jesmond Dene, or simply taking 30 minutes to watch an episode of your favourite show, find a way to give yourself a rest.

5. The ‘it will get done’ mindset

If all else fails and you find yourself in dire straits, the best thing you can do is tell yourself everything will get done. You will sit that exam or hand in that essay, and afterwards you can relax and enjoy summer as a well-deserved reward.

Now stop reading and use this as your sign to go and study!

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