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I recently came across a really great leaflet from the LSE Student Counselling Service called Exam Stress Management Tips. Since the advice it offers is so fantastic, I decided to break it down a bit and add a bit of my own take on it. Exam season is so stressful, and it’s really important to take care of yourself and organize your time in the most effective way. Here are a few tips to keep you as stress-free and prepared as possible.
1. Schedule your time wisely
Instead of waiting until the last minute, be sure to schedule your time wisely. You’ve got quite a few weeks to study for exams (depending on your programme, of course), so if you start now, you’re already doing yourself a favor. Nothing scream “stress” like a last minute all-nighter before an exam because you failed to prepare ahead of time. Try to make a (realistic!!) list of days and times you intend to study for specific subjects, and make sure it includes some breaks and time for relaxing. If the schedule is balanced and you can stick to what you’ve planned, you’ll thank yourself later.
2. Get motivated
I find it incredibly difficult to get things done without the pressure of a looming deadline. When I have something due in a few weeks, it’s hard to get myself going on it unless I’ve set a positive reward at the end (that is, aside from having a completed paper). In an effort to motivate myself, I’ve started rewarding finished work with a trip to a park or a television show. It may seem a bit silly, but it’s might work for you if you try it out. Warning: this system requires lots of self-control. The leaflet specifically recommends a system of rewards for achieved goals, beginning with the more interesting subjects, establishing a routine, and reminding yourself why you’re here in the first place- for the qualification!
3. Learn actively
The handout emphasizes the importance of revising in a meaningful way. This requires taking notes, testing yourself on the material as you write and revise, and creating helpful reminders for use during your exams. Highlighting all the important sentences and taking basic notes can be helpful, but they’re not going to take you to the next step of actually understanding the material.
I mentioned this in a few other posts, but sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your body. When you’re stressed out and you’ve got a ton of stuff to do, it’s easier to eliminate sleep than it is to eliminate a few hours of studying or a meal. That makes it pretty tempting to skip out on a few hours of sleep in favor of doing some last minute revising. While this might be helpful in some ways (I’ve done it many times), it’s detrimental to your overall health, and it’s not going to help you the next day during your exam when you can’t keep your eyes open. Check out this post on the importance of sleep for more information.
That’s all for now, but stay tuned for tips for the day of an exam, ranging from how to deal with last minute panic and how best to get comfortable. Good luck revising!
Now that we’ve all gotten that Easter chocolate out of the way, it’s time to get back into shape (no, not circle) before welcoming the new academic term. Since we’re all either home-or-library-bound busy studying for the upcoming examinations, here are a few ways to keep yourself fit indoors and without spending too much!
1) Water Bottle Weights
Relatively cheap, and you don’t really have to go out of your way to buy one - chances are that you have a bottle of your own - just fill it up with water and use them as weights to strengthen your arm, shoulder and back.
Try to get a bottle that fits comfortably in your grip. Once bottles get too easy, move on to other stuff like milk jugs (or schoolbags). Be creative!
If there are staircases in your accommodation, exploit it as much as you can; instead of taking the elevator, use the stairs to get back to your desired floor. In fact, take some time out of your daily routine to do some step-up exercises.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be staircases if you prefer to avoid the stares of your fellow hallmates, just grab a sturdy chair, or just a footstool and you’re good to go!
3) The Plank
If you don’t have a lot of time, but you want to build up your core muscles, this is the exercise for you. Get into a push-up position, but instead of bending your arms and moving down towards the floor, hold the position with your arms extended. Start off holding the position for 30 seconds, and add an additional 10 seconds every day.
See how long you can go for – it’s definitely not easy! This is one of the most challenging exercises, but it’s also one of the of the best for your core.
4) Cleaning Your Room
Set aside a few hours to do a full-room-cleaning. Clear that clutter on your table, organise your books neatly, mop (or vacuum) your room, and change your sheets. Other than keeping your room in a clean state, it serves as your physical of the day too! Might as well kill two birds with one stone eh?
5) YouTube Workouts!
For more tips, just head over to YouTube to search for indoor workouts! A few examples to start with are squats, push-ups, and step-up exercises. The “related videos” section will guide you from there. Also, subscribe to exercise channels for more inspiration!
Well, an advice for this step is just make sure that you don’t get lured further into watching cat videos for two hours straight..
Other helpful sites:Great Ways to Work Out Indoors (WebMD)6 Simple Indoor Exercises (SheKnows)10 Ways You Can Exercise At Home (FitWatch)
LinkedIn is an incredibly helpful professional networking site that can serve as a useful tool during your job or internship search. If you haven’t already created a profile, you should definitely consider it, particularly if you are currently in the process of searching for work. Here are a few tips for using LinkedIn:
1. Create a profile
This is a pretty obvious first step, I know, but there’s a bit more to it than you might realize. Creating a profile doesn’t just mean putting your name and “LSE Student” as a headline. It’s a good idea to fill out as much information as possible, highlighting your strengths and helping potential employers realize why you might be a good fit in their workplace.
2. Do some searching and familiarize yourself with the website
You can search for things by using LinkedIn’s preset categories: People, Jobs, Companies, Groups, Universities, and Articles. If you know specific people and you haven’t used LinkedIn before, start by searching for them and requesting to add them to your network. If you are interested in looking for jobs directly advertised on LinkedIn, try the “Jobs” category. Groups are a great way to find like-minded people, and joining a handful will bring some interesting news and conversations to your home page’s updates.
3. Be active
Joining a group and being inactive isn’t really enough to have a presence on LinkedIn. If you join a group related to young marketing professionals, try and comment once in a while. Similarly, if you find a really interesting professional article online somewhere, share it with your connections. The more you put into LinkedIn, the more you get out of it.
4. Make new connections
Making LinkedIn connections is both easy and complicated. If you know someone personally or professionally, definitely send them a request to connect. However, there are a few bits of LinkedIn etiquette that you should read about before contacting people you don’t know. Since I’m not a LinkedIn expert, I’m going to provide a few links with advice to help you expand your professional network. Check out these links on how to best pursue new professional connections:
LinkedIn Professional Community Guidelines (LinkedIn)
The 3 LinkedIn Etiquette Rules You Should Never Break (Fast Company)
How to Send LinkedIn Invitations and Messages (About.com)
Why I Shouldn’t Add You on LinkedIn (Social Media Today)
5. Ask for recommendations
One of the best ways to show your strengths on LinkedIn is by asking for recommendations. That way, if someone searches for you, your recommendation will be publicly displayed on your page, making you more attractive to potential employers.
And here are just a few additional links to help you with creating a LinkedIn profile and getting the most out of your experience:
What Every College Student Should Post on LinkedIn (Mashable)
8 Mistakes You Should Never Make on LinkedIn (Forbes)
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Mastering LinkedIn (blog)
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