June 2017: Finishing the 2nd Semester

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Wow, who would have ever thought we would reach the end of exams in June, finishing the year-long postgraduate course. We still have the dissertation to work on, but just the idea of only one more thing standing between us and our degrees is the best feeling in the world.

Exam revision and exams are definitely the toughest times during graduate school. The long days of studying, hours preparing, reading, making flashcards, etc. truly exhaust your brain. However, there is no better feeling in the world than going to take an exam and leaving feeling confident from your revision. Not to mention if you have to prepare for more than one exam, when you take each one you feel like your brain just won the mental war.

Besides organisation and study tips to remember during exam revision, one thing that is necessary is socialisation with your course mates. I did not realise how crucial social interaction truly is during exam revision. The hours you spend in your room or at the desk in the library prevent you from having any conversation, which puts even more stress on you because your brain needs social interaction. So, what my friends and I decided to do is just to have one dinner together once a week during exams. This gave us something to look forward to, not to mention just putting the computer away and talking face to face is actually more relaxing than just watching a show/movie on Netflix.

Having something to look forward to keeps you going hour by hour, exam after exam, during revision. For me it was my trip to Scotland with my two best friends from my course. We originally planned to go to the Isle of Skye and then to Edinburgh back in March, so we had this to dream about until then. Finishing that last exam, MY LAST EXAM EVER, was an indescribable feeling. I felt I could accomplish anything, I was on top of the world, and now it was time to celebrate with our trip.

Our trip consisted of a 3-day guided tour around the Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye followed by two days of exploring Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh. Being outside in the most beautiful nature I’ve ever seen was the perfect escape after the month long revision war. It was also nice because we barely had service on the Isle of Skye, so being disconnected from social media, emails, etc. gave us the mental escape we really needed to get back on track before coming back to work on the dissertation. Although exams were absolutely brutal, it marked the end of the instruction part of my course. I will soon start to figure out what city I will call home next, but am looking forward to capping off my Manchester journey in the next couple summer months.

Photo: My two course mates and I on a boat cruise in Elgol on the Isle of Skye, Scotland.

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Brianna Nowak

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