Just to recap, in Part 1 of this article we spoke about the importance of staying relaxed by knowing that what’s meant for us will always be, and, to expect the unexpected.
When slightly more tricky situations arise at home or in the family, which have resulted in a disinterest for work, or revision, for now I’ll say that such events are generally temporary and they will sort themselves out. Your number one priority is you, there’s absolutely no purpose in putting stress of the family before your own health and wellbeing. Nor any real purpose in putting it before your studies, because ultimately doing well in your GCSEs and A Levels will have a bigger impact on your future.
If any difficult situation arises at home, make sure to only concern yourself where necessary, so if not necessary then block yourself out of it. Whether that be through shutting yourself in your bedroom or actually leaving the house, take the initiative to do so. Then, look out for your own best interests, and try to keep productive. Whether that be taking part in an extracurricular activity, napping (that’s always productive), visiting a friend or sitting down and getting on with some work in the library, make sure to do what’s best for you. These situations arise in every household and while they can be disruptive revision-wise, and may not seem to be doing any good while you’re going through the motions, know you’ll come out of everything a better, more developed and stronger individual.
Did I mention, more relaxed, better at looking at the bigger picture and better at managing time?
This leads me onto the next point, on why you should keep a positive mindset - it’ll lead to positive outcomes. That means even if you’ve gone an entire day (or a few) without having been productive, think: “It’s alright! I’ve had a good break and when I get back to work I’ll be able to work in a more effective way.” When you struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel, think about why you’re even sat revising. Is it for the grades? For your parents? Or to truly help you advance your education and get you off to the best career possible? Because I know, if any of the work I’ve done had been for anyone but myself, I would’ve given it up a long time ago.
So, since you’re working for yourself (at least I hope you are!), learn to never compare to other people. When people post pictures of themselves working - more time than not they’re probably spending their time on social media than they are actually working, and when you feel that the pressure is getting too much, again, remove yourself from that environment. That might be by having a day’s break from social media, or not sharing test marks with your friends (both of which I have done).
The next tip I’m about to give might be one you’d like to hide from your parents or guardians .. and that is … to get rid of social media during exam season, or at least while you’re working. A concept I despised being told during my GCSE year for FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but then I came to realise you won’t miss out on anything that will drastically change your life. Nothing truly important will happen while you’re gone, and if something happens you’ll be alerted one way or another. Having said that, while I’ve deleted Instagram and Snapchat for this year’s exam season, I’ve kept WhatsApp for daily communication and Twitter to feed my urge to scroll for an hour a week on average.
You might prefer to keep social media but to give your phone to someone you trust while you’re working so you can’t be distracted; and then have your phone as a reward for a certain period of time after you’ve done X amount of work. These techniques may seem harsh, and if you’re unwilling to give them a go or you’re forced to give the devices up, it won’t work. Other ways around to procrastinate will be found. For this reason, even more important than social media usage is definitely mindset.
So, for a few more tips, stay tuned for Part 3 of this article.