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The Undying Skill of Procrastination / My Top Revision Tips

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Blog 3: I’m currently procrastinating (thanks PJ!) so a blog is in order… Nothing serious to see here!

Oh yes, my friends. It’s here.

Having read a few other student blogs, you can almost feel the natural tension that is looming among us again…

EXAM TIME!

Now, this is the time where all you can seem to do is not study (well for me anyway). BBC News, sky player, and facebook. My fellow friends; these are my sins.

However, each has their own. Some decide exercise is for them, some spend time with the family and others just do nothing. However, this doesn’t just apply to us pharmacy students; it’s all students around this time of year.

I must hold my hands up… I’ve been judging them students, sat in the beer gardens, drinking a cold refreshing pint of cider. I’ve subconsciously weighed up those relaxing, getting sun tans, with envious eyes. Yes, I bet some of you have also done this and felt guilty for it (or not).

However, as the time comes before us, we must rise to the challenge (although I’m finding this very difficult) and tackle the exams head on.

So I have prepared some tips:

1. Frame of mind – I am finding that if I’m not in the right frame of mind, it’s not going to happen. I have to hype myself up often asking myself questions like: What do I gain from this? Why is this important? What’s the relevance? To elaborate, I find the idea of learning the whole immunological complement cascade a total waste of time. I do not have a photographic memory, I’m sorry. Now, you see I’ve already put myself in the wrong frame of mind. But the bigger picture is, if I learn it for the exam I can happily forget it afterwards (again maybe not the right frame of mind but give me some credit?).

2. Be positive! – Easier said than done. I often get referred to as a grumpy old man, but who can blame me? Everyone has different outlooks on life… I tend to think of bunny rabbits rainbows and dragons to make me happy and positive but I also have an overactive imagination. Remember though POSITIVENESS! Like some form of positive charge or something…

3. Timetable – For me it’s the only thing that I remember teachers telling me… ‘Make a revision timetable’. Now, is that just a procrastinating event or what?! But seriously, mental time tables I find work. I tend to do one module for an hour or two. Chill and chat to housemates for a bit and then get back to another module.

4. Fluid levels – TEA! Nothing beats a good brew whilst you’re revising and it helps break up revision. But water is fine I suppose. I try and keep topped up. I’ve heard people say something about hydrating the brain; maybe someone can elaborate on this for me?

5. Exercise – Although as I mentioned earlier as a possible procrastinating act, it’s always good to try and slot some exercise in. Even if it’s just a brisk walk around the park (gives me time to imagine dragons and get POSITIVE! +VE)

6. Music – Some people find it distracting, I find it calming. Being sat in a quiet room, all alone with no noise can be stressful for me; I sometimes find myself behaving like a ninja in these conditions (another procrastinating event), because if I make a noise (like dropping my pen), I feel like I have failed my secret mission (overactive imagination). So music prevents me from procrastinating I suppose.

Anyway, those are some tips I use. By third year I would of thought I would be used to it by now… But there’s something frightening and mysterious about exams. Sometimes I think they’re a barrier to learning. Sometimes a person understanding of a subject and what they write down on pieces of paper are totally different. This is something I find is neglected through essay based exams. I understand how pharmacy is a science based subject but really writing essays about white blood cells! Why!? WHYYY!?

I love immunology!

On a serious note: I wish all students the very best of luck with exams. I also hope some of you have found this slightly humorous, and an insightful procrastinating event.

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