This post is just one big ramble/rant about what my first step for revising for my final exams is going to be. Consider yourself warned!
As some of you may or may not know, I’m a student studying in her second year of a degree in Astrophysics.
I thought I’d come on here and write about how I plan to begin my revision for my end of year exams. I think sometimes taking the first step is the most difficult, so I want to make sure I have everything in order for when the time comes. Unfortunately, I won’t have much time to revise because the entirety of second year for me has been riddled with bad mental health spells and tons of coursework .
As an example, between the start of last Tuesday and the end of this Thursday we will have had 1 class test to revise for and 5 coursework deadlines (a class test in Optics along with four weeks of lecture summaries to hand in, a Differential Equations assignment to hand in, 10 hours of CV enhancement to complete along with an updated CV to hand in, a Nuclear Physics assignment along with a Quantum Mechanics assignment along with like 4 pieces of Python code to hand in and an observatory log book along with an observatory report to hand in).
So, as you can see, even within those pieces of coursework there are usually multiple components, so in that space of 9 days I will have completed 10 different components of coursework.
Which is difficult for most courses but let me tell you, Astrophysics is no joke.
Anyway, so I won’t have had any time to revise for the finals until I’ve handed in my last piece of coursework which likely won’t be until the deadline (Thursday).
I think the first step I’m going to take once I’m in my exam revision period is, before anything else, to give myself some self-care. I can hear some of you being all like “NO, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME ON THAT WHEN YOU HAVE SO LITTLE TIME AS IT IS!”
Well I’m about to change your mind!
You see, with my crappy mental health and insane amounts of coursework, I haven’t even actually left the house since that class test last Tuesday – not even to go to my local supermarket (which is a 2 minute walk from my flat!) I haven’t been taking care of myself at all, and with my partner being in the same situation as me (not the best mental health and extremely busy with work) even the everyday things have really been swept to the side.
I will still be super busy with revision once I’ve finished with the coursework (as in, now I’m completing around 1.5ish percent of my overall grade in coursework per day, and it will be around the same during the revision period in terms of what the final exams are worth vs the days I have to revise for them). However, I still really think this is the most important first step.
I just need to really quickly take a bath, y’know? I need to do the laundry. I need to tidy up. I need to take bags of clothes to the charity shop. I need to load the dishwasher. I need to leash train my kitten. I need to entertain my kitten. I need to create a revision plan. I need to take that VARK test and work out HOW I’m going to revise. I need to get my weight back down to what’s healthy for me. I need to stock the fridge with healthy food. I need to do a BIT of cleaning.
I don’t want to go nuts, but honestly, it really needs at least a bit of work because it’s like a mad house in here, and I have no idea how I could reasonably begin to revise without taking care of myself, my partner, my flat and my kitten in these ways first. I would just feel far too anxious and wouldn’t be able to leave the flat to go to the library to study anyway because I’d feel gross and wouldn’t want to leave the flat messy or leave my kitten needing attention, ugh.
It’s very stressful and really does need to be done, and I won’t be able to do it before then because I have 2 pieces of coursework to begin and complete within the next 2 days so I can’t really be thinking about revision before the 11th April, and only at that time onwards can I really revise…
So, hopefully you all agree with me now that this is the first thing I need to do once the revision period begins. I know logically it seems like the best thing to do would be to just fit in as much revision as possible considering how little time I have to study for these exams (one of my single semester modules contains 2 subjects (Quantum Mechanics and Nuclear Physics), and I only have 3 days to revise for each of those subjects), and I do see how this would ordinarily be the right thing to do. I just know that realistically, if I were to do that, I’d actually get less work done overall because I’d be super unfocussed.
I guess I could see that preparation as revision in itself? I mean, it isn’t REALLY, but then it sort of is because revision is technically anything that will bring your grade up in the exam right? All of this preparation will definitely ease my mind and make me far more comfortable which I think will definitely cause me to have a better grade in the exams!
I’ll just spend from whenever I give in my final piece of coursework until Friday for this preparation, so less than a day, which is enough time to make a real difference in creating a good, calm, happy and healthy brain environment for me to revise and not so much time that it actually does more bad than good. A good sweet spot.
So I have the first day of revision planned – I don’t really know what I’m going to be doing the day after but I guess that’s what the planning day is for.