Happy New Year! As we enter exam season number one, I’ve found it more and more difficult to enjoy Christmas and New Year whilst battling the inner thoughts that I should be revising or completing my ever-increasing amount of Uni work.
Navigating my relationship with guilt and studying has been going on since I can remember. I think it is a universal feeling that everyone has experienced at some point in their academic life, at some level or another. I, for one, have a terrible relationship with guilt and workload.
So, I have decided to compile some tips that I hope will help you when it comes to deciphering study guilt!
1. Set achievable targets.
I don’t know about you, but I always start the week with a to-do list longer than the week before. In fact, I can spend hours on a to-do list, all the while staring at my actual work. It is important to set goals but don’t make the targets harder than they need to be. I’ve found that setting just one goal for the morning and one for the afternoon is much easier to achieve than having an hour-by-hour target.
2. Set aside study time.
When it comes to feeling study guilt, it always happens when you are doing anything but studying. To combat it, I set aside study time and non-study time during the day. So, from 9am to 5pm I use this time to sit at the desk and work, with breaks when needed. And then after 5pm hits – the rest of the day is mine! This is really useful because when you aren’t studying you can relax your mind and not feel guilty, because you worked when you were supposed to. One of the great things about working in an office is – you work from 9 to 5 and then go home. Work is done and completed at 5 – everything is there, and you don’t bring it home with you. When studying I try to do this, I have an office space that I work from 9 to 5 in and when it's done, it's done. Leave it at the office! Also, weekends off – so make sure you have days off too.
3. Go easy on yourself.
When you have assignments due weekly and exams looming at the end of the month it can be easy to see every day as a checkbox or as just another day closer to the end of January. But it’s important to celebrate the victories and not be too hard on yourself if you didn’t quite make it to 5pm one day. If you’ve handed in an assignment, take a moment to be proud of yourself and give yourself a break, go out of the house (although annoyingly just for a walk, as that’s all we can do at the moment!) and try and do something you enjoy (Yay! Walking!!) Be kind to yourself during exam season and remember – you’re doing the best you can.