What I Do at Uni: Exam Edition

This totally isn’t being posted out of order as the first in a series *shifty eyes* *grins* Well, I am in the slow slow process of writing a post about a typical(ish, as every day is different) day at my university, but I thought, having been in the middle of exam season – where activating neurons and working memory for revision inspires creative writing – I’d do a post about the way I revise.

Of course, everybody’s revision patterns are different – and this is me reporting as an early bird, as someone who does better at working and focusing during the early day, not the evening or even the afternoon.

7am-8am – wake up, or doze for half an hour. In this time, my brain starts to gear up, starts to plan the day: what I’m going to wear, what I’m going to eat, what I’m going to study and where.

8am-8.30 – get ready for the day. During the revision period, I tend to skip on makeup and even my contact lenses (these take time to do and often simply hamper my revision). On the other hand, I make time for making breakfast, for a bowl of porridge with water and a dash of salt. It’s not about keeping myself full; it’s about stopping my stomach growling in the low-murmur of the library.

By about 8.40 or 8.45, I start leaving for campus. My walk takes about fifteen to twenty minutes depending on the speed I walk, the weather, what I’m wearing, and my mood.

9-12am – I try for a full 3-hours of revision. Sounds barmy, perhaps, but I work better the more I focus on a continuous stretch rather than the suggested 40-minutes-breask-40-minutes. If I break, I get distracted too much to work.

Which is why I keep it to a three hour stretch. My aim every day is for a good 6-hour of revision in order to get the results I want. (I hope!😮 )

At 12.30, I head for lunch, normally at the campus café. Here, I normally grab a falafel wrap along with my coffee. I am normally pretty hungry after my revision, so I might grab a cookie or a muffin to help fill me up.

Now, the afternoon is where my pattern gets a bit weird. It really depends on the day. This, I think, stems from the beginning of my revision this year where I was simultaneously working on my own revision timetable, whilst also going to revision seminars set up by my professors. These seminars would often be in the afternoon, about 2pm or 3pm, where my lunch-following 3 hours of revision thus was interrupted quite severely—not only by the hour of revision, but the at-least-10-minutes of the walking to (alone) the seminar room(s).

Sometimes, I will spend the afternoon in the café. My concentration has been partly shattered by the half-an-hour-to-hour-long lunch-break, so I work a little slower in the afternoon. The hustle and bustle of the café and of the campus union is comforting—it is the background noise I sorely need to help my working; otherwise, I get distracted by my own thoughts irrelevant to the matter.

Other times, I head home at about 3. That means I’ve had a good hour attempting to work on revision, and sometimes, I am in one of those days where three hours is the only amount of time I can spend revising. It really is just dependent on the days and all the little things in between. I try and finish my revision by 5, which would be some combination of six hours’ work. If I’m in the café, I can lose track of time and finish at 6 instead.

I try to start dinner by 6.30pm, so I am eating by 7.30 the latest where I have the hunger. And dinner at its longest is half an hour, so I try to have the washing up and kitchen tidying done by 8.30.

In the evening, I chill. After dinner is when I am least able to revise. My mind has spent its thoughts, its processes, and now just craves some amusement in the form of a film or a television program. When I’m revising, I don’t game as much. And, luckily, I don’t much crave to game when I’m revising.

What Sheldon said. xD I wish.

So, that’s me for now. That’s what I experience as a student in an English university.

The End Is Nigh

Good luck to all the finalists (I don’t know how the system works in other countries, so I guess this is tailored to the UK) who finish their degrees verrryy soon.

Me included. 5 exams down, 1 to go.

AlexB_revision

More revision pics. Because revision. Seems to be my life right now.

In my gorgeous vintage Bernie Dexter skirt and petticoat🙂

I can’t promise that my blog schedule will get back on track. But you know me – I can but hope!

7 Quick Takes: Exam Confidence

7 Quick Takes Friday is hosted by This Ain’t the Lyceum.

Seven Quick Takes

~1~

Work at things until they’re rote. If revising a certain topic bores you, you’re probably at the stage where you understand it.

~2~

Use acronyms, aphorisms, ascriptions. Start associating the names you probably won’t remember by themselves with phrases that you’ll be able to roll off your tongue.

~3~

Talk to yourself. Stare out of the window. Just don’t read over what you’ve written time and time again. It does nothing to your long-term memory; there are very little significant or vibrant chemical associations that will occur from reading. Your short-term memory might be fine, but I assure you that tomorrow will have swept the knowledge from your head.

~4~

Instead, opt for writing essay plans or structuring sentences as arguments so that you’re contemplating what you will have to in the exam.

~5~

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Some things do need clarifying – some topics are tricky to get one’s head around. As such, you won’t always be able to go it alone. Ask, confirm, support. It’s the best way to understand a topic.

Alexb_revisionstudy

Revision.

~6~

Relax. Actually, the worst thing one can do in an exam is overthink and spiral into anxiety. A clear mind is a successful mind, and through that, exam essays are simpler than you think.

Plus, God does not judge by one’s academic score, for He knows your true knowledge.

~7~

Pray. Not out of desperation, of course, but in an optimistic in-God-I-trust approach. Acknowledge that He is there for you; appreciate that He has guided you this far. He is on your side, and will continue to support you.

As funny as it sounds, God is my ultimately cheerleader. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am now without his support.

Have a blessed weekend.

Finding Time in a Busy Life

Today, I’m sharing this post from Aussie Owned and Read because today is reblog Thursday and this post fits in so well with my current mentality: busy, busy, busy as I push through exams.
Still, I am only two down and four to go, and my days are met with revision not writing. I would like to make time for it, but that is not going to happen at the moment.

Aussie Writers

Source: Shutterstock Source: Shutterstock

I forgot today was my day to post here. Usually we try to have our posts up in the morning, and it was dinnertime when I had an OHNOES moment and realised I hadn’t done anything. Then my son and I had a karate class to go to, so here I am: it’s after 9pm, my legs are tired from kicking invisible bad guys, and I’m drinking tea from a Lady Rainicorn mug and eating crackers and olive dip.

It’s not my finest moment.

I know I should go easy on myself — I have a load of excuses I could give you for why I forgot (single mother working full time, yadda yadda yadda) — but the thing is that, despite everything going on in my life, I am usually pretty good with stuff like this.

How do I do it? I’m glad you asked.😉

I set reasonable…

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It’s a Month Until I Finish my BA

Actually, that title is a lie. I didn’t have time to write this last week and then I forgot about it. But, yes, after three years, I am on the last legs of my degree. It’s bizarre! A weird feeling to think that in less than a month (it’s under three weeks now), I will have finished my final final (or final exam, or whatever term one ought to use for mass communication) and officially no longer be a BA student.

I guess I still fall under that term until I graduate in July, but once my exams are done, I exist in that limbo of doing nothing.

And, to be honest, I don’t know what I will do. Not in a bad way, just in an I’m-undecided-and-I-have-a-ton-of-things way. Life is rife with opportunity and it’s not always a good thing in that one cannot do everything or achieve all of the plans. Quelle domage.

I had always planned to do several posts about university (particularly for those of you who don’t know what it’s like a British university, which can be something different of an experience from other countries), for instance about what I’ve learnt away from the academia, and I can’t say if I’ll get them done over the coming weeks—unlikely, as I’m normally shattered once I’ve finished revision for the day—or instead once I am done for…well, for all.

That’s weird.

Anyway, I hope to get a few of my ideas onto paper and write them up into blog posts; and I am happy to take requests for specific topics, though, as I say, I have a few in mind already. My blog could also do with a redesign and my creativity has been dipping into the visuals recently, so I feel capable that I could somehow choose a nice theme to outline this blog. And I am in the midst of thinking about my new About page. It’s where I go when I find a new blog, and I’m finding that mine no longer fits my requirements of a writer’s blog. Not to mention that the style is about two years out of date.

Other than that, I plan to spend most of the summer working, as I feel like it is time I stepped up to the plate and did something responsible.

I haven’t forgotten about writing, and I haven’t stopped altogether. I’m just not mentally healthy enough to try and deal with massive rewrites and concentrated draft edits that need time and peace and quiet set aside. I don’t have the energy or the motivation, and I can’t tell when I actually will. Probably in those last weeks of May after my exams, when my mind has been given some time to settle, but not enough that it starts to screech crazy.

Uh, yeah. That’s why I’ll have things to do when I’m not working.

In other news, it’s raining again as I type this. Oh April.

Quick Takes Friday: Bring on the Stress!

It’s time for Friday’s summary of the week. Hosted by This Ain’t The Lyceum.

seven-quick-takes-friday-2-300x213

~1~

Exams: five down, zero to go.

Obligatory robot party gif.

~2~

“So, now you don’t have any exams, you have lots of free time, right?”

‘Nother misconception about students is that when we’re done with assignments and exams, we have nothing more to do. Not true. Currently, Alex is a busy bee, run off her feet, with so much yet to do with herself.

And, apparently, that makes her use third person…

~3~

The Itchy Feet event I’m helping to organise was on this coming Wednesday, so my free time was devoted to promoting that. Which is, frankly, scary, as it involves leaving the house and handing out flyers to strangers. Oh well. I need to up my performance confidence. I should make it a goal to stop flailing as I do things I actually love. Starting with cooking.

Itchy Feet Reading

~4~

I had three meetings today, of varying lengths and involvements, but all is adding up as work. My Psychology project for third year is beginning to be planned, but we’ve been unable to get hold of our supervisor, so it’s feeling like we’re in the middle of a lake without oars.

~5~

Did I mention that there was a Steampunk event last weekend? It wasn’t a big one, and revision meant I limited myself to one outing, but a Steampunk event is a Steampunk event nevertheless. The Sergeant and I travelled over to Frome in Somerset for a few hours of looking around the Steampunk market there and then around the small town. I may have popped into some charity shops for quick-spend clothes… No photos from me, sadly – as seems to be the unfortunate trend; and I’d love to vlog or video more steampunk outings – but my gentleman and I did snap a couple of selfies.

ChrisandAlexFrome

D’aww.

~6~

I’ve started editing again – didn’t much ease myself in, though, as I threw myself into Aidelle’s penultimate chapter whilst the Philosophy Society were busy with quiz and karaoke last night. The music in pubs these days is far too loud…

~7~

I’ve also been trying to enhance my imagery to make it more…unique to the novel.

Aidelle didn’t remember writing them, but her hand had decorated the page whilst Zara had been describing her life. It was as twisted as they were; more twisted than the pipes of a combustion engine.