Wednesday, 7 January 2015

A Simple Guide for Preparation

The beginning of the year indicates that new goals are in sight and our passion to achieve is higher than ever. However, with us demanding so much from ourselves, it is often easy to get buried with overwhelming thoughts. When I know that busy times are approaching fast, I like to try and get myself organised as early as possible.

 As a student, I've noticed that as soon as the Christmas holidays are over, mock exams are at our doorsteps! This is a period of time which everybody hates as nobody is prepared for these, I even believe that the teachers aren't ready for them and find it just as daunting as us. Last year, I didn't handle this period well. I got extremely stressed out and this reflected in my grades. From then on I realised what I needed to do for the summer exams, it's important to realise that it's not just the exams you need to practice but also your method of approaching them and how to prepare yourself for them. Once you have developed your own methods and techniques you will find that you can handle the situation by the summer! 

Get Organised 
My best method for organisation is using a calendar and a student diary to display the months and weeks ahead. Personally I like to use the calendar within my iPad and iPhone as these are devices which are usually on me all the time. I like to clearly display all future events in my calendar whether this is work, birthdays or exams so that I can see what time I have free to study or relax. Key educational things I like to record are my holiday periods, college trip and exams. I make sure at the beginning of the academic year that I find out all the exam dates and times, teachers think that I'm crazy and eager (definitely not the case) but I just want to ensure I'm not fumbling around for the dates last minute!
My student diary is something that I purchased from Summer 2014 and displays an academic year. I remember hating these things at school when they were essential, I couldn't wait to get rid of them at college and be free but I found out that I couldn't live without one; I am one for writing stuff down! My diary has space for each day, I write each subject of the day as a header and note if I have any homework due in. In addition, I also write the subject underneath and record any set homework (with a tick box), tests and if homework hasn't been set. It's amazing how many people ask if homework was set or do their work for the wrong day, getting a planner sure helps! 

During the exam period I also found it helpful to have a tear off week by week chart. Yep another calendar based product BUT this was used to chart my revision time and break time. Getting through this period without calendars, lists and tick boxes is just impossible for me...the satisfaction of completing a list is like no other!

When I say diet, I don't mean losing weight and getting yourself a summer bod for the holidays! Drinking and eating clean was something that really helped to regulate my stress levels as well as getting enough sleep at night. My diet involved eating a lot of fruit, particularly for breakfast where I would have a smoothie everyday. This mean't I wasn't snacking on chocolate and crisps, resulting in my energy source being entirely natural. My friends thought I was being drastic by changing my diet but I convinced myself that just by having a healthy mind, I could perform better and more spontaneously when sitting an exam. 

Every night I would allow myself to completely rest, this time I called '10 o'clock time'. I would completely unwind...stopping whatever it was I was doing, turn off all devices, get into comfy clothes, dim the lights and sit in my bed with a mug of peppermint tea and listen to peaceful music. This time is essential, no mater how much work you have to do, you must ensure that you have time to relax otherwise all the stress will build up and escape at the wrong time. 

Remember that it is ok if you are feeling a bit stressed, it shows your passion for what you are doing. Use the techniques that work for you and you will manage to pull through! I have recently read a beautifully written post by Amy (HERE) from Amy Elizabeth Fashion, please give it a read as it may help many of you who struggle with stress. I couldn't agree more with her words!

I would love to know what you do to prepare yourself for stressful periods, let me know in the comments below! :) 

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