Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Life after exams is just around the corner

The light at the end of the tunnel is near in numerous senses. While exam season can, correctly, feel like a long slog, it is only for a few weeks of the year. Most of that time is taken up with revision and stress. The exams themselves – unless you’re sitting a three-hour paper – can go rather quickly (for better or worse).

The point is, this will all be finished soon. School (university) will be out for summer. Even though I hope people are studying degrees they enjoy, there is no doubt that time away from the intensity of the library and combative seminars will be welcome.

Indeed, this should be a summer that provides more freedom and flexibility than the last. Even though the summer months in 2020 were the brief interlude between lockdowns, there was always the threat of a second wave and future lockdowns ahead.

I aim to balance a mix of work and relaxation

Thanks to the brilliance of scientific ingenuity and the brilliant logistics of the vaccination rollout, individuals should be able to enjoy themselves with limited fear. I am one of the young people lucky enough to have already received a first vaccination dose. The government aims to offer vaccines to all adults by 31st July, meaning that freedom should be more possible.

Contemplating how to spend those summer months, at the present time, can seem foolish. We are in the middle of exam season and the time out of exams should surely be given to revising for the next. However, the age-old advice of breaking up the revision process remain as true today as they ever have before. Thinking therefore about the future, both short and long term is a wise move.

I aim to balance a mix of work and relaxation in the three months between term finishing and Fresher’s Week at the end of September. Ideally, some extra income in July, when I have more time on my hands, would be immensely helpful but also provide the valuable work experience present on all of our CVs. In my spare time currently, I do online tutoring which the end of exams will no doubt provide more time for.

Taking this break between films will help me appreciate them more

During the first lockdown, I spent lots of time watching films and truly began to appreciate the power of that medium. I admit the irony of it taking the closing of cinemas for me to really recognize their power. Before exam season, I had been watching numerous films per week. I’m now not watching any until my exams have finished on 10th June.

Though it’s a pain, not least as so many great films are released for a limited time for free on iPlayer and All 4, I recognize taking this break from films will help me appreciate them more after exams. Despite the escapism provided by the best cinema, I know that my mind has an extreme tendency to wonder.

Therefore, I imagine part of the summer will be spent contemplating potential dissertation topics and module choices for next year. Even though I will not have the power to decided anything fully until the autumn term commences, I’m someone who likes to be prepared for all eventualities. Thinking ahead, even if involves potentially uncalled for stress, is usually a part of this. I’ll want to consider what module options are available, what topics will most interest me and where I can perform my highest academic potential.

There are less than three weeks of exam season to go

Life after exam season is a part of that all-important philosophy to balance living in the present with thinking of the future. Of course, being in the present to consider revision and exams is extremely important. During an essay itself, switching off all notifications or social media distractions is a brilliant way to become as focused as possible and recognize the importance of the qualifications we’re undertaking.

But alongside that is also the importance of looking to the future, both academically and personally. Whether it’s managing to navigate the quarantine rules and book a holiday overseas, completing important summer work or simply spending more time with your loved ones, life outside of the busy academic vibrancy of life is both useful and utterly essential to ensure we can all return to academia refreshed for the next challenges. Though I will get back to revision soon, it will be in the thankful knowledge that there are less than three weeks of it to go.

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