Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Sunshine in the darkness

Hey guys,

I -like most other sixteen year old students in the world- have been hit with the overwhelming fact that we are currently taking our GCSEs. The exams in which we have been made to believe our futures depend on. "If you get bad GCSEs you won't be able to go to a good sixth form . If you can't go to a good sixth form, you can't go to a good collage. And if you can't go to a good collage, you cannot get a good job". etc etc. In this time of immense stress and procrastination, as cheesy as this may sound, nothing makes me feel better than being able to share how I feel with all of you. And for those of you who are going through exams, whether you are an A level student, GCSE student or if you are currently experiencing any form of stress and anxiety in your life, I just want to give you some inspirational quotes that hopefully act like a little ray of sunshine in this dark, straining time.

Here a few tips and tricks to help you revise more efficiently:
  1. Leave home. This is probably the best advice I can give you. By this, I don't mean pack your bags and leave (lets not do anything too crazy) but going to the library, the park or even to your friends houses to revise. This can sometimes boost productivity because you are not at home, so you feel less lazy and there are less distractions therefore you should find yourself getting more work done.
  2. Listen to classical music or instrumentals. I would personally recommend classical music as you will be letting the information sink instead of being tempted to sing along to the track 
  3. Find out the way you work best, and stick to it!
  4. If timetables do not work for you (you can't stick to them) do not worry. Just look at your exam timetable and see which exam comes up first and revise the subjects in that order. Don't worry about a time limit, or switching between subjects. This way, you are getting work done, even if you are not sticking to an allocated time for the subject.
  5. Have fun with it! There are thousands of creative ways in which you can revise. So why limit yourself to the same-old typical open-book technique? You could plaster cute revision notes all around your house (I'm sure your parents and siblings won't mind, after all, you are taking exams!), make giant revision cards and cover your wall with them, cover your ceiling with reminders and photos related to the topic you are studying, revise with a friend and have a consequence for getting an answer wrong etc etc. 

Another way to help yourself is by doing things that help you to relax, and not to become too caught up in the stress and anxiety. A few suggestions of things you can do to help reduce stress are:
  1. As mentioned in my previous post, listen to music! Cheerful, uplifting music or just music that tends to explain exactly how you are feeling is a great source of happiness and stress relief
  2. Try some yoga. It won't hurt to try
  3. Do some exercise! Teachers go on and on about this, so it MUST be true. Exercising helps reduce an individuals' stress levels as it produces endorphins in  an individual (I'm not sure how that relates, but I just thought you should know :)).
  4. Watch your favourite tv shows and movies. Although this may be interpreted as a form of procrastination, who feels like revising when they are too stressed out to think? No-one!
  5. Go for a walk. This is not the same as exercising! Going for a walk will just act as a way in which you can reflect on life and perhaps you will be able to absorb the peace and tranquillity emitted by mother nature.
So for anyone stressing about their exams, or staging all nighters to cram all of the information in. Don't! Follow some of these tips:
  1. Do not cram. The information you "learn" will only stay within your short term memory and by the time you actually sit down for the exam, more than half of the crammed information will have left your brain.
  2. You need to get as much sleep as possible, so you don't feel exhausted throughout the day and fail to learn anything as a result
  3. There is more to life than exams, regardless of what you get, you can always turn your life around. It's never the end
  4. Eat! One thing that is proven (I have no clue whether it's proven or not) to reduce stress levels before and after an exam is FOOD. Just pull up a seat next to me and we can eat our troubles out, one spoonful of ice-cream at a time
  5. Hang out with your friends. This could be a revision group or just a quick casual hang-out with a couple of close friends. You shouldn't kill yourself trying to revise, so why not have a little fun doing it?
  6. Google says (and of course "everything Google says is right") that you should take breaks in between revising. I agree 100%. During this time, you can do whatever you want! provided it's within your allocated 'break' time.
I'm going to let you in on a little secret of mine:
If you just try your best, you'll have no regrets

Anyway, I've got another quote and picture for you all,

If you want to be happy, be.
-Leo Tolstoy