Early Morning Wake Up Call

So it’s that time of year again. Exams are fast approaching and you are well prepared, right? You have been attending all of your lectures, all of those extremely insightful seminars or tutorials of yours and of course you are on top of the reading. You are being a good student instead of scrolling through student problems laughing to yourself about how relatable they are to your current situation. Am I right or am I right? Wait… maybe I am not actually correct? Imagine that! All joking aside, here is your early morning wake up call to get you back on track, as I know some people have fallen behind along the way. I shall attempt to inspire all of those struggling during this sad time in our student lives. I cordially invite you all to join ‘Hagan’s Academic Cult’. Continue reading if interested.

How to become a member of the prestigious Hagan’s Academic Cult:
1. Like, comment, subscribe (cue cute chirpy voice)
Only joking…again. I am not an influencer with a YouTube channel. I am but a simple cult enthusiast.

How to become a true member of Hagan’s Academic Cult:

1. I hate to admit it but the first and most important step is not something that I can teach you.

You must have the right mind set before joining or else I cannot help you. At the end of the day, I don’t think anyone wants to be that person who never attends anything and is always behind but you shall always remain like this unless you change your mind set. I had this very conversation with a cult fledgling member earlier. He wanted me to create the perfect study routine for him minus a studious mind set. Little brothers studying for GCSE’s are adorable. However, I think my readers have already developed the necessary mind set required to go forward with the cult initiation. You clicked on this post feeling that you desired a change. You crave exam advice and inspiration so you have already completed Step 1 on your own, congratulations.

Okay now that we have sifted out the good eggs from the bad eggs, let us move forward with the initiation.

2. Wake up early in the morning. It is an obvious step but an important one.

I entitled this piece early morning wake up call for a reason. I do not entertain the idea that people can study better at night than they can in the morning. Your body clock is designed to wake up with the sun and you have just messed it up by going out drinking, playing video games, watching Netflix, etc.

If previous to this initiation you were a king or queen of the night this step may prove difficult, but if you are serious about doing well in your exams this semester, you will do it. I advise waking up at 8am and for you to pretend that you are back at school again minus the uniform. Although, if you feel like physical artefacts help with motivation then by all means you can sport any University of Sheffield merchandise to the library or within your own home if you prefer to study at home. Personally, you will find me at the IC or Diamond with my University of Sheffield notebooks and schoolbag.

If you are struggling to get up at 8 each morning then you may change the time, just make sure that you attend any remaining lectures/tutorials you may have before exam season is upon us. They contain vital information about your upcoming exams and assignments.

3. Avoid every day takeaway syndrome or vending machine dependency.

I’ve watched people do this and it’s not good for you plus it’s expensive. You are better off buying a healthier meal in a proper restaurant or cooking at home. Also on that note, schedule regular meal times as far as possible. Breakfast, lunch and dinner as an all-inclusive package deal. Food gives you energy and healthy food gives you extortionate amounts of it which is needed for revision sessions. You can have takeaway* once a week and even that is excessive believe it or not.

*takeaway food includes all those foods high in fat, salt and/or sugar so the likes of KFC and Domino’s off West Street. It does not include takeaway meals from non-fast food places.

4. Before sitting down to revise, remove your phone.

Our generation knows very well the addictive nature of smart phones and social networks. A good example is how before I sat down to write this article I wasted a good hour on Facebook. Oh would you look at that another hour wasted. That could have been a good blog drafting hour, sigh. Follow my advice not my example. I promise you I do know what I am talking about. This is all coming from past experience/observation of friends situations.

5. A less traditional form of advice, don’t scroll through mindless motivational quotes or YouTube videos on motivation.

This is just another form of procrastination. Same goes for exam advice videos and study advice blogs. They are helpful to a certain extent but too much of a good thing is a bad thing. You will get sucked into watching videos and reading blogs and end up losing valuable revision time. Perhaps, do these things before you go to bed at night and once you have acquired the necessary study advice, put such videos to bed also. Although, I am very grateful to you for reading my study blog of course. Thank you very much.

6. So you are up early, you’ve had a healthy breakfast, you are equipped with laptops and pens and you have discarded your phone to one side. What’s next? Only the actual studying of course!

The hard part you think but you think wrong. It is the fun part, but if you cannot enjoy studying the way my friend claims to then at least think of it as something rewarding, something that will lead you to that desired final destination. You have to say to yourself I can do and I want to do. This is your mantra when you wake up and this is also your mantra before, during and after study. You came to university to get a degree. Don’t let this thought overwhelm you but instead let it motivate you. Let it guide you in the right direction instead of the wrong direction. At the top of the page write or type the date like you used to do at school and then add ‘I can do it and I want to do it’ underneath this in the margin or header space.

Also explore different study techniques such as:
• mind maps
• spider diagrams
• flow charts
• making PowerPoint presentations (a favourite of mine and when I suddenly uploaded my well organised PowerPoint to our google drive folder my group members were very impressed)
• numbered or bulleted lists
• colour coded sections
• cue cards (recommended to me by a friend as a great method for memorisation)

It’s time for you to experiment, fledgling, and come back to me once you have found the methods that work for you so that we may continue your initiation.

And now bad cult joke aside, I wish you the best of luck this exam season and I pray you stay calm, cool and collected. I bid you adieu. If anyone wants any extra help with devising notes or simply needs to de-stress via a friendly chat you can contact me at shagan1@sheffield.ac.uk and the cult thing is a running bad joke so please don’t be scared.

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