Kessia Virah-Sawmy: Going through finals and staying sane


At this time of the semester, the stress level goes up and the realization that I might not know what I’ve been doing all semester kicks in. With last assignments to hand in and the dread of having to start studying for finals, it’s not the best feeling ever. But let’s see if I can give you some tips about how to go through it all during this time of the semester.

Tip #1- Start early

I know… Everybody says the same thing, but it’s definitely true. An earlier start on your revision means you get to go through all the lecture material in time and don’t have to pull an all-nighter the day before exams. You also get to study at a slower pace and actually understand things you might not have got a 100% in class. That’s how it goes for me, the more time I have to go through the lectures, the more I understand the subjects I’ve been doing throughout the semester. Never too late right?

Tip #2- Do other activities

I love baking and cooking and going for walks down the river and I would totally do those things even during exam period. One of the things that I’ve found helpful is taking time off studies and doing things that would take my mind away from all the uni work. Go exercising, watch some tv, go for a walk, bake or do whatever you like to destress. On campus, they very often have free food or stress-free events before exams where they bring in dogs to pet. So don’t hesitate to go and I can assure you that you’ll feel better after feeling all the puppy love.

Tip #3- Group studies

I find that studying with other people who are doing the same subjects helps me a lot. By explaining things to each other, we each contribute to the bit we know about each topic, be it small or big. You can answer past exams papers together and get a larger pool of ideas of how to answer each question since everybody might have different views on the subject. Besides, even if its studying with people who don’t do the same subjects, just the fact of seeing other people study can encourage you to keep going as well. The library is open until midnight during swot-vac (that week you have to cram all your studies before exams) and I would recommend coming early to grab a table because I can assure you that you will never see the library as full. There is a 24-hour learning area as well where you can stay and study if you are more of a late night person.

Tip #4- Eat FOOD

I personally cannot survive without having 3 big meals a day and lots and lots of snacks in between. During exam period I do get slack on the cooking since I would much rather spend that hour of cooking on studying. But I find that it is really important to eat properly during this time. I try to cook during the weekends and just freeze my meals so that I can still enjoy good food with more time to study. During my study breaks, I always have snacks at hand like nuts, fruits, chocolate and cereal bars. The JCUSA provides free tea and coffee in the kitchen area outside the library, so bring your cup and grab some free hot drinks because you will need it. The Christian Union group also sells some pancakes and ice coffee a few nights during swot-vac so bring a gold coin with you just in case. But don’t worry, Woolies is a walk away if you still need to get more snacks during those long study nights in the library (just be aware that it does close at 9pm on weekdays). J

SO here it is, my best 4 tips for this crazy end of semester. Don’t stress yourself out though. Do your best and don’t leave it to the last minute. I wish you all the very best for the upcoming exams… And keep reminding yourself that you have a long 3-month holiday awaiting you…

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