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The To Do List

Does life as a student feel like one massive, never-ending to do list? Alexandra talks about how exhausting exam season feels and how to stay healthy and happy throughout the year.

The student life seems to just be a constant list of things to do. Work to complete, shopping to buy, phone calls to make; it all just seems to pile up on top of us until we do not know where to begin with our never-ending to-do list. Eventually it becomes a daunting task that we can’t contemplate completing. Sound familiar? It is pretty much the norm among students, particularly during the exam season where the majority of us are walking back and forth from the library in a trance.

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So, what can we do to reduce this stress on ourselves? Often, we will complain that we don’t have the spare time to go a run or practice some meditation, particularly in exam periods when we have spent all day studying and we simply don’t have the energy to force ourselves to get out of bed and exercise. Perhaps, it is more a case of finding little things to cheer us up. Something that I find always helps me is puppies.

Whilst I cannot keep a dog in my university halls (a great tragedy in my opinion), just walking a dog brightens my mood and outlook for the rest of the day. The perks of walking a dog are endless: it does not take up much time, it is good for both you and the dog, and it provides you with a much needed break away from studying. It has been proven that dogs can improve the atmosphere and mood of the workplace, so why would they not improve a student’s attitude towards life during the hectic exam season?

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For those who do not have access to a dog, there are numerous websites that allow you to walk or borrow a dog for the day, but if that is not for you there is always self-care. It can be very difficult to make an effort to take care of yourself during exam season; often, we spend our days just waking up and heading to the library. The thought of even considering doing your hair and makeup is non-existent, cooking becomes a rare occasion, and you begin to live off of ready-made meals…so, just give yourself the time to do the things that make you feel human and yourself. Once you start to feel horrible, your mindset automatically goes downhill. By continuing to do what you do during the rest of the year, you will make a huge difference to your mindset without having to go out of your way to do anything extra. It seems only logical to spend time on yourself. It is the easiest way of helping yourself to look after your body and mind during the busy periods of the semester, and it means that you will head into those exams refreshed and prepared to smash them.

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