By Aileen O’Leary
Welcome to the last instalment of the Final Year Diaries 2018! I will be back next semester for more insights into final year life, but for now, I’ll be signing off until our next issue in a few weeks’ time.
I am a little sad that we’ve reached our last issue for the semester, but it also means a much needed break is right around the corner, right after exam season. As a final year, by now I should be well prepared in how to handle exams. I am not.
I am just as stressed as everyone else and as I am writing this week’s instalment I have about 20 tabs open finishing projects, essays, reports and the thought of revising for exams has gone straight over my head. By the time this issue is released, timetables will have gone out and the panic slowly sets in.
Not to worry though, you have time and it isn’t impossible to revise right before your exam. I wouldn’t recommend cramming; despite popular belief it isn’t the best strategy before an exam especially if, like me, these exams will determine your degree. I would recommend starting as soon as you can, there are still a few weeks before exams start and if you take two topics a week and understand them, then it’s half the battle.
My study advice: avoid the energy drinks. A big mistake I made was thinking energy drinks would give me energy to power through. The best thing you can do is exercise, eat well, stay hydrated and get some sleep. Sleep deprivation isn’t fun, if your energy levels are down, your body can’t recover and your mood is severely affected. Speaking from experience your best bet is to try and get a few hours a night instead of pulling an all – nighter.
With the semester coming to a close, now is the time to focus. However, all study and no fun makes for very stressed students, so take a study break, go to the cinema, meet up with friends, check out the Christmas Market or go for hot chocolate, it is the festive season after all.
Your college years are so short, speaking from experience they absolutely fly by, it feels like I was a fresher five minutes ago and I’m about to face my last Christmas exams here in NUI Galway. So from one NUI Galway student to another, these are some of the best years of your life, make the most of them, go out and make new friends and don’t let exams or deadlines stress you out.
Four years ago I was lucky enough to call Galway my new home, and I can honestly say they have been the most unforgettable years of my life. There will always be deadlines, assignments, essays, exams but you can’t redo the experience. Don’t let college become one long exam; because it’s much more than that, it’s unforgettable.