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Surviving January Exams

Laura Butula gives her advice on how to take on January exams while making time for mulled wine with the family.


December’s arrival gifts us with two complications: the money our wallets allow us to spend on Secret Santa and the questionable morality of January exams. There is no denying that these assessments psych most people out. Is it the concept of New Year beginning whilst simultaneously forcing our brains to recall lectures from the past that doesn’t seem to click for us? Regardless of the cause, there are numerous ways to battle through the debatable evil of these tests and understand what is actually being jeopardized during our festive holidays.

What I’m about to say will sound quite hypocritical, but procrastinating from studying can be one of the riskiest decisions you intentionally (or unintentionally – mulled wine, am I right?) make. Now, don’t stop reading this article because you interpret my tone as parental. Nobody here is preaching that spending every waking hour revising will earn you top marks; however as students we must recognize that it is our responsibility to care for our own future, therefore finding an efficient way of studying over the holidays is undeniably an act of survival. Each of us develop particular habits to encourage a healthy study routine – some get up early to trek to the overcrowded library, while others will sleep in and whip up a scrumptious breakfast before commencing the upcoming torture (hint: there is no ‘right’ way of starting this process). Just figure out what personally boosts you to stare at a textbook for a solid amount of time.

Finding an efficient way of studying over the holidays is undeniably an act of survival

Once you find your own tempo, January exams begin to feel like a blessing in disguise. Along with advantageously distributing our responsibilities, these seemingly bothersome tests admittedly keep us busy over the holidays. Without them, we would all be indulging our winter appetites with mince pies and mulled wine 24/7. Exercising our brains in this way enables us to return to busy schedules without unnecessary stress, feeling prepared because we spent the break productively.

Naturally, losing this time may seem wasteful; nevertheless, the holidays still offer the opportunity to reunite with friends and family, whether you’re gladly ‘stuck’ at home or skiing in the Alps. It is these moments that we must appreciate, as for many of us, Exeter cannot provide the comfort of home – or snow. In every good there’s a bad; however, January exams are only truly immoral if you make them so yourself.

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