Stress series – Optimising revision

It’s officially spring break, which, ironically is anything but. It’s snowing, -1, and for me, far off from a break. Sigh. On the plus side, I am back in my beautiful city of London and feel refreshed already. I didn’t think I’d miss the air pollution, train delays and rude people as much as I have – it’s SO good to be back.

This week’s post is about optimising revision, and how to make the most out of your spring break whilst still being productive.

I thought I would share some of the tips that I’m hoping to put into practice over the next 5 weeks to ensure I cover my course content as well as enjoying myself and taking a break! So let’s get to it:

1) Set yourself daily goals and only focus on those (try not to do too much in a day otherwise you’ll burnout)

2) Organise your resources in advance. Spend a day or two making sure you have enough past papers and practice questions to last you. Choose exactly how you want to revise (whether it’s through drawing things out, writing essays, reading over things, watching videos etc.). Equally, draw up a plan that incorporates all these forms of learning into your days so you mix it up and stay engaged.

3) Buy yourself some fancy stationary. (Don’t pretend you don’t love the smell of a new pen or exercise book – I know I do).

4) Eat properly. I know it’s a bore, but the more you get used to eating healthy snacks, the more you’ll feel its effects. For example, I started making myself a nutritious smoothie every morning (in addition to breakfast, not instead of), and I can’t emphasise enough how it has improved my health and wellbeing! (I’ll do a whole separate post on the smoothie life in due course – but seriously, try it).

5) Exercise. Sitting at your desk for 5+ hours each day is not good for your body, so I would highly recommend you try and follow some kind of exercise regime over the holiday period if you haven’t already got one. All you need is half an hour max, just to warm up your muscles and work on all the kinks you develop from sitting in the same place all day. Personally, I am a solid yoga/pilates fan, but even going for a run or doing a few simple stretches is enough to keep that brain juice flowing!

6) When you’re working, turn your phone off. Seriously, need I even expand on this point? If you don’t agree with me, go read my post The most stressful two years of my life so far… Part I

7) Make time for friends and family. MOST IMPORTANT POINT. Don’t destroy your relationships over a degree. Put your people first.

8) Have fun! This ties in with number 7 – make sure you have days off and make the most of them! You don’t want to look back in 10 years time and end up resenting those days when you worked yourself to death over anatomy*… I know I don’t.

9) Find your study spot. Everyone learns in their own specific environment, so find a spot you feel comfortable in and get cracking. Whether it’s in the middle of a coffee shop, a park bench (although if you’re also from England it’s doubtful the sun will stay out long enough for you to get comfortable there), in a library or in your room – make it yours and separate it from where you relax.

10) You’ve got this. You can do it. Whether you’re doing your GCSE’s, A-Levels or degree, have faith in your abilities. Keep a positive reminder on your desk to remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing – and stay strong. You can do it.

*Speaking of anatomy, if you’re a medical student (and even if you’re not), watch Grey’s Anatomy. I stand by this. Just throwing it in there. But genuinely, I find that 80% of Grey’s Anatomy episodes cover some form of examinable content for med school – whether it’s intricate pathologies or surgical techniques or medical law, Grey’s covers most of it and let’s face the facts; I am waaaaaay more likely to remember something if I can associate Jackson Avery’s face with it. Just sayin’.

So there we have it! My top 10 tips for optimising revision! I hope your revision period is super successful and filled with productivity ❤

Until next time,

Y.

 

The best way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

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