Try something new this December

THIS is a crucial time in the year. Motivation is slowly depleting, and all you want to do is to be at home with your family, friends, and mum’s cooking. However, assignments are piling up, deadlines drawing nearer, and exams you haven’t even thought about yet. But not to fear, as here in the Lifestyle section of ASM we have some top-tip advice on how to get through this month, and the festive period, without resolving to a mid-term psychotic breakdown.

First things first; prioritise your priorities. If you have an essay due in four days time, then going out with your pals – as tempting as that may be – should be nowhere near the top of your list. Write everything you need to do on a bit of paper and then number them in order, with the first being the most urgent, from 1-10. Once you have done this, for instance if you have multiple assignments on top of things like sports games, break your essays into smaller, more manageable chunks. Have a target you want to reach each day. If you miss your target, you will have to play catch up later on and something will have to give, so it’s easier to sacrifice fun things earlier on and to reward yourself when it is done.

Try not to get stressed out. I know, this is incredibly easy to say, and if you have seen me the run-up to a deadline for an essay or The Courier I am far from stress-free to be around, however try to keep things in your life that you enjoy. So, once you have hit your aforementioned target, you can relax in a bath, or with an hour in the gym, or with a film with your housemates. It shouldn’t be all work and no play – just try to get the balance right. This will differ from person to person so it is important to not compare yourself. We all know that one person that can go out every night the week up to a deadline and still manage to get a first and rock up the seminars looking alive and knowing the answers to any question thrown at them. If this is not you, don’t test fate. Stick to what you know.

The best way to not be stressed out, especially at this time of year, is to be prepared. If you are well organised and have planned things in advance then you should breeze the weeks when deadlines are looming. If you haven’t done this so far – you still have time to turn it around! For the many that have exams, use Christmas to re-read your notes, any books you read, and look at past papers. Think about how you would answer any questions that appear, especially repeated ones, and use this to focus your revision. When it comes to the week of your exam you should feel as prepared as possible.

Let’s not forget, that Christmas is to be enjoyed. As I said last year, this is a time to be cherished with your family. Go home, enjoy yourself, indulge in the festivities, and surround yourself with the people you love. Be grateful for all your family do. You may not appreciate it now, but in years to come, when you have your degree, your own home and your own families you will. This December, tell your parents how much you appreciate them. Honestly, this will (hopefully) make their Christmas. Families fight – but this is the one time of year, you should at least try to put it all behind you and get on. If you are a fresher, this will be the first Christmas you have spent at home since moving away, and I know that, for me, this was the time all my petty fighting with my mum stopped. You’ll realise it isn’t worth it and she has always been right and is the best person in the world. If it is your last year, make it one to remember.

On behalf of all of ASM, I wish you a brilliant December and festive period. Good luck with all of your upcoming assignments and exams!