A Third Year’s Guide to Self-Care: Exam Season

My fellow third years will know the feeling when you think about exam season. It’s the same as every other…

My fellow third years will know the feeling when you think about exam season. It’s the same as every other year, the same feeling you’ve had throughout education – however this is it.

I know how it feels. My stomach is in knots when I think about the future and beyond exam season. Exams are one thing; but whatever the results, after they finish I no longer have any clue what I’m doing. However, I NEED these to go well. The thought of resitting, or not being able to qualify into what I want to be, is terrifying. And with that in mind, and my exam season in May and early June, I need to ensure that this feeling won’t affect how they go. Here are my top tips for success in Exam Season. We are in this together.

1: Eat Well

It sounds so simple, but the most important thing is not your exam grades; it’s that you eat. Whether you bulk cook, write out what you’re eating on what day; or get a friend to help you out, make sure you eat well. Eat at the time that suits you, add the vegetables, and make sure you eat three meals a day. Breakfast before an exam will make all the difference to your brain.

2: Allow Yourself Some ‘You’ Time

Watch the Netflix Show on your to-watch list, meet with friends for a coffee, allow yourself a day off – you don’t have to hermit during exam season. As long as you manage your time and ensure you are doing the work you need to do, balancing that with a time out is much better for your health than burning yourself out. Remember that you are only human and a break is allowed.

3: Take it One at a Time

If you look at every exam as one thing, you will overwhelm yourself. Break down every exam; mark them off as you go; and make it feel more manageable. And, for third years, do not think of them as your ‘last shot’ – It’s just one exam at a time, and you do know how to do them – you have made it this far.

4: Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Staying up and cramming might seem like the best idea, but getting your recommended eight hours will actually help you remember more than you would if you crammed and got half of that. Get an early night, with an hour off your phone, off your computer and away from your notes, reading a book or listening to music, any way to relax your mind ready for the next day.

5: Drink Plenty of Water (Throughout)

Again, this might seem simple, but keeping hydrated will keep your brain working! Do not forget to ensure you are drinking water before, during and after every exam, and keeping yourself hydrated.

And finally, make sure you have something exciting planned at the end. A holiday, a night out, a night in – something to signify that it’s over and celebrate all your hard work!

To all my third years (and the rest of you, obviously) You are going to smash this, take care of yourself, and you will get through this.

Best of Luck


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