March. April. May. Exams. Sorry to dampen your happy Friday feeling, but exam season is rolling around faster than we realise and the workload and revision is building up just as fast. For those who are about to experience their first real exams, or those who want to get a headstart on their revision for the end of years, or even those who just can’t wait for the Easter holidays, I thought I’d give a few things you can do to keep on going.
Having a growth mindset.
This has been drilled into us since day one by teachers. Honestly, at first I was dismissive of this – I did not take it seriously. But actually? Coming from a student, it works. Nothing is more deflating than making an effort and revising and your hard work refusing to be reflected in your exam results. First of all, you should remember you are not your mark or grade. Secondly – it is not the end! You have so many other opportunities to do better. If anything, instead of revising everything blindly, exams and the mistakes made are a clear indicator of what to go over again. And just like that, you’ve improved. You’ve taught yourself (or asked your teacher to go over) something you didn’t understand and that’s already a few marks more in your next exam testing the unit. Instead of thinking about what you have done and stopping there, you need to focus on what you can do. You’ve got a D in your recent exam? Clearly you are not very happy about this, so what are YOU going to do about it?
Having a goal.
It is not only about having a goal, it is about the steps you want to take to achieve your goal. This can be applied to more than just study, maybe it’s a sports goal, finishing a book series, travelling through Europe: Anything. When in times where you feel low and unmotivated, remember your goal and why you’re doing what you’re doing – and how it will feel to achieve your goal…
Stop comparing yourself to others!
We’ve all done it. And we all forget that we are all different. It is a really bad habit to have and it often leads to ugly feelings like jealousy or self-doubt. These thoughts you have about people being better than you – well, it’s all in your head! Yes, of course, there is always going to be someone “better” than you at something, wherever you go, it’s unavoidable. But what is avoidable is having these kind of thoughts. Celebrate others success, and most importantly, celebrate your own!
Looking forward to something.
Similar to having a goal, you need something to motivate you to carry on. This can be as simple as the Easter holidays, or even simpler, a slice of cake that you have saved yourself for when you get home.
Treating yourself and self love.
This is probably the most important point. Every time you accomplish something, acknowledge it! Make what you’ve done worth it. After all, you deserve it. Honestly? Even if you haven’t, you should still treat yourself!
By Marrya Ben-Gharbia
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