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Study Tips – Back 2 Education

It’s that time of year! Christmas is over and it’s time to get back to studying…

It’s important this time of year to take care of yourself and remember that studying should not be your only priority. It’s normal to feel as though you’re struggling but take it from me, you’re not alone and there are ways of balancing your study time with other aspects of your life.

Passing from GCSE to A-Level, I noticed a big change in workload which has been a massive shock for me but I’ve spent a lot of time discovering helpful techniques that have supported my studying and made me realise that it’s not as serious as most of us tend to believe!

These are some things that I’ve learned and am happy to share with you:

Self-Care

Now this word is spread worldwide on social media but what does it mean and what can it mean for you? Self-care by definition is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s health, however, this is unique to everyone so overall it’s looking after your body and mind and this can be different for each person depending on their needs and the things they enjoy.

By listening to your feelings and identifying what you need at that given moment, you can make time to care for yourself by doing something that will make you feel better. For example, you may feel exhausted but you’re stressed that you have homework due the next day. If you’re aware that prioritising sleep will recharge you, taking a nap would be the best form of self-care for you to feel energised before doing your homework.

I have found that I always feel anxious in the morning before I go to school so I tried meditating for 10 minutes and now it’s part of my daily routine! You don’t have to meditate every morning as part of your self-care, but if you’ve identified a certain emotion that is recurring, finding an outcome for your stress trigger will help you in the long term.

If self-care isn’t something you’re used to, it’s important to remember that you deserve time for yourself. It can be anything as small as eating something you’ve been craving for a while, cooking your favourite food, spending time with friends or participating in hobbies that bring you joy! Always remind yourself that spending time for yourself does not take away all the time from studying.

Study Space

Finding a comfortable place to study is essential. I change from studying in the library to a coffee shop to, even, my kitchen! If you study in the same place you sleep and relax in, you may associate the anxiety of studying with the comfort of your room. I tend to switch from my room to other places as changing scenery and moving between places when you’re studying allows me to keep myself active and awake.

Trying out different revision styles can help you find the best way for you to study. Some people prefer to use flashcards, others find it helpful to make notes or draw diagrams, while others may use whiteboards. One thing I found that helped me was setting up study dates with my friends to revise together. This meant it was more relaxing and helped me maintain an optimistic mindset about studying. At the end of the day, it’s good to try new things to discover what works best for you.


Talk to the people you love


Let your friends and family know how you’re feeling. It helps to just express your worries because you may find that your friends may feel the same way and people can listen, encourage and support you as well as give you some useful advice. Keeping everything inside will only make you feel worse in the long term so don’t be afraid to speak your thoughts.

Being organised


As a forgetful person, I’ve always struggled with managing my time and organisation has never come naturally to me but I’ve come to notice it’s not as hard as it sounds.

  • I have a daily planner app on my phone to write down the tasks I need to do as soon as I know what they are. This helps me to remember what I have to do so that I don’t forget later on.
  • I keep a whiteboard on my desk with my to-do-list
  • I made an inspirational mood board with revision tips and my ambitions for the future to keep me motivated – I printed photos off Pinterest that I found were helpful and stuck them on my wall. This is not only useful but also a chance to be creative and express yourself visually!
  • I organised an exam timetable where I put the times I want to study my subjects placed throughout the week. E.g., I’m struggling more with Sociology than my other subjects so I make time for it on Wednesday afternoons every week starting now. This allows you to break it up into chunks and creates a daily routine which you can change.

These methods can make revision feel less overwhelming and much more manageable.


Talk to your teachers


If you’re struggling with a specific task or have questions about something, don’t be scared to ask your teachers or email them. Teachers are aware of the amount of work as this is your final year before taking off to university and their job is to help you. It’s not their first time helping students with similar struggles so talk through your concerns with your teacher who can let you know what support you can get.

Support

If you need support with your mental health & wellbeing Dorset Mind’s Children & Young People’s Service, Dorset Mind Your Head provides services for those up to 25yrs old. Alternatively, if you’re aged 18 and over you can find counselling and other support options through adult services at Dorset Mind

Additional Support

Childline

Childline has an online exam stress help centre which you can access here: info-advice/school-college-and-work/school-college/exam-stress/ 

They’re open to young people 18 and under and are open 24/7. Call 0800 1111 or use webchat on their website: Childline | Childline

CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably)

Find resources on how to deal with exam stress on their website: Exam stress | Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) (thecalmzone.net)
Talk to CALM from 5 pm to midnight every day. Calls and web chats are free and anonymous. Call – 0800 58 58 58.


Samaritans

Resources on exam stress: how-we-can-help/exam-stress-coping-strategies/

Offer emotional support and a listening ear 24/7. Call them on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

Visit their website: Samaritans

Today’s Guest Blogger

A huge thanks to Dorset Mind Ambassador, Noa Casas for sharing their study tips. 

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