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Taking the stress out of studying Part 1

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Taking the stress out of studying Part 1

By Carmen Botes (achieved 10 distinctions at Matric in 2015)

The day I thought about so often during my school years finally arrived at the end of last year; the last day of school and then the last days of exams came along with many mixed feelings. I was saying goodbye to a lot of people and experiences, but also standing on the brink of new beginnings. Twelve years felt long at times, but in hindsight they went by incredibly fast. There was never a dull moment and my involvement in a variety of things helped me get through all the work, the good times and also the ‘not-so-good times’ – and helped me to stay motivated.

Although schoolwork took up a lot of time, I always tried to make time for things I enjoy doing. I love music – both listening to music and playing the guitar. I also enjoy reading and doing research on things that I’m interested in; I’m always keen to discover new things. I also love drawing and spending time with friends. I cherish my free time and finding a balance between work and ‘play’ was not always easy but helped me to stay focused.

With what seems like the whole world’s obsession with exams (especially finals), actually studying for exams can be challenging and stressful. Sometimes even just thinking about everything that needs to be done can be a bit overwhelming. Schoolwork is important, but stressing about it isn’t going to get any of it done, and it’s important to find ways to make things a bit easier for yourself at school.

Doing well at school requires a lot of studying, and I definitely had to work hard to be able to achieve the results I did, but no one can study and do nothing else. Not only will you become miserable, but you will probably become less efficient and end up over-studied. I have heard that even top athletes can over-train and I think it is true for studying as well. Although my social life slowed down a bit during finals (it was only two months anyway), I still made time to have coffee with friends now and then and to play guitar. These things provided me with a much-needed break/escape from working, but while I studied, I tried to do it as productively as I could, without taking breaks too often to go and browse around the kitchen or look at my phone. If you use your time efficiently, it becomes much easier to take breaks, feeling that you have accomplished something.

There are a few things that I think are very important to keep in mind when studying and that I found very useful.

To read Carmen’s study tips – check out out post tomorrow!

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