Smashing STUVAC: 5 Tips to get the most out of your Week.
You’ve made it this far, so don’t give up now. Here’s a few tips for getting the most out of STUVAC.
- STUVAC is not a break
The most important thing to remember during STUVAC is that this is time allocated for preparation, forgetting this and treating it like a holiday is likely to have devastating results, so put life on hold for a week. That guy/girl you hit it off with at a party last Wednesday? Forget ’em. That new TV series you’ve been meaning to watch? Don’t start it. And if you get invited round to Dazza’s place for a ‘BBQ’ that you know will primarily revolve around the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol, tell him to bugger off. There’ll always be another chance for your mates to gather round and give your livers a collective thrashing.
2. Embrace the stress
The first ever time I jumped out of a plane by myself, my jumpmaster said to me, “You’re obviously nervous and that’s good! You’re about to jump out of a plane; I’d be nervous if you weren’t.” In the same way that the stress and adrenaline when skydiving solo helped me focus on carrying out the various tasks required of me during the dive, the stress and adrenaline of an upcoming exam should be harnessed in the same way to drive and motivate you. If you’re perfectly calm about exams, you’ve probably forgotten something. Don’t get complacent and never forget that feeling content is never a good thing in these situations; there’s always something more you could be doing.
3. Don’t panic
Notwithstanding the above, panicking never helps anyone. The second you start to panic is the second the information is going to stop being absorbed and study becomes pointless. If you feel yourself slipping into panic mode, stop, and take a few deep breaths, then remind yourself that you’ve got a whole week to prepare. If you structure your week well and resist the temptations I mentioned in section 1, then you’ve got plenty of time. Even if you haven’t gone to a lecture all semester, if each one of your lectures goes for 1 hour you can easily cover an entire subject in 2 days. Take a walk, have a cup of tea, go play with your dog, whatever you have to do to stop yourself from panicking, do it.
4. Look after yourself.
Now I’m no med-student, but I’m pretty sure that your brain functions better when you actually eat food, moreover, it functions better when you eat real food and not just Mi Goreng for every meal. Let’s not pretend that you can’t take half an hour to prepare a proper meal, you’re not that short on time and the benefits of eating properly are worth the time lost anyway. Sleep is another important area to consider, while I’m all for staying up till 4AM to finish that take-home exam, to reiterate, you’ve got a whole week to prepare for these ones. Plan well lest you be that guy dragging their zombie-esque corpse into the exam room, barely able to keep their eyes open having neglected to sleep or even shower for the last 3 days.
5. Remember why we’re here.
Uni’s great; you get to drink on school nights, your parents are generally proud of you for being here and we get paid by the government to do, in the greater scheme of things, very little. But remember, uni isn’t just an excuse to get blind every Wednesday night, we are here to learn and to hopefully better society through our future contribution to it. Of course I’m not suggesting that the mark you get in these exams is directly representative of your future worth, but if you’re feeling at a loss for inspiration, consider how lucky you are to be here and consider the future good you can do. For example, when I’m suffering a lack of motivation I think about the innocent men and women who may languish in gaol if I don’t do well at uni and as such are unable to represent them. Sure that’s an over simplistic (and egotistical) outlook on it, but remember, uni is a means to an end and you can’t help anyone if you fail your exams.
Good luck ladies and gentlemen!
feature image via pixabay