How to de-stress before examinations

Much is said here about writing essays, motivating yourself, making the48 days until 1st examination most of your notes and other essential stuff for the daily life of a student. But sometimes, our best intentions and plans fall short of one key thing: how to manage all that under the pressure of an upcoming deadline, examinations in this case. During the highly stressful period of examinations, we start second-guessing ourselves, over-spread our efforts, or focus too intensely on just one thing, etc. To ace your examinations you need self-control and peace of mind as much as you need to prepare the right amount of material in sufficient depth. 

I have a few strategies that help me to keep my sanity almost intact through the whirlwind of emotions and information that the examination period brings. Here I list a few. Continue reading

Journaling away for re-motivation

It’s been quite a long time since my last blog post, but…life happened. First I was sucked in by the Christmas craze, then had to reconnect when I got home, then the Little One had an incredibly hard time with upper canines (yeah, one night she got up at 3 a.m and did not go back to sleep), then I was sucked in by the formative assessrise like the break of dawnment whirlwind and I have basically started to breathe again just two weeks ago. Of course, since life can never throw that much on me I made a serious and committed plan to eat healthier and to exercise because the “I just had a baby” excuse is getting old when the baby is almost two years old. And on top of everything, I thought it would be a good idea to do something more artistic and have taken up hand-lettering. And here I was telling myself that I am a laid-back person.

I will start by addressing those of you sneering in the back of the room and saying: “Right, like I have time to journal”. Continue reading

A day in my study schedule


In my last blog post we talked about “Big picture” planning so, to complement it, I thought you may like to read about how I organize myself on a daily basis during weekdays. Perhaps you can get refreshing ideas!

This schedule relies heavily on my own preferences, habits and circumstances as a student. For example, I prefer working in the mornings because I know it is easier for me to focus then. Remember how important it is to know yourself in order to devise a suitable schedule for you.

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The “big picture” plan

Having ana blog oct 2017a study plan is one of the first things that enters our mind when we decide to study, and even more if we do so as International Programmes students. We think in terms of time allocation, ascertaining when we will be able to sit down with our books, juggling many other commitments, perhaps thinking that it is not worth planning study sessions if our lives are so hectic that we are lucky with an hour left for studying. Continue reading

Apps and tools to boost study skills

As UoLIP students, we may feel like we are left to our own devices Clock icontoo much, and sometimes we struggle to organize ourselves, find material or muster the motivation to accomplish our goals. Luckily, we live in an era where having Internet access means finding a solution to almost any problem, and student life can be easily kept on track with the help of a myriad of apps and web pages designed to overcome the most common problems of a student. Yours truly has gathered this manageable list in the hopes that you may find something useful in it.

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How I work my reading lists

reading-listAs you may know, this year I am attempting for the first time ever to sit for three modules (‘Augustans&Romantics’, ‘Victorians’ and ‘Moderns’). Up until now, I have been doing two modules per year, but last year’s marks have encouraged me to take on a new challenge. It also helps that I have already read some of the authors on the suggested syllabus before, so I already have a few ideas to work with.

However, one of the issues that I had last year was that I did not compile a good reading list from the beginning, and I had to muster all my forces to overcome that and do well in the examinations, but I felt like all of it was done in a haphazard way, and this prevented me from enjoying my studies fully. I have been thinking a good deal about how to compile my reading list this year because with three modules and a 1-and-a-half-year-old kid I cannot get away with a bad organization.

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Oh summer, where are thou?

anase-where-art-thouWe are already in September, and mixed feelings start to bubble up to the surface. On the one hand, I would love to keep the relaxed routine we have had for the past month and a half. On the other, however, I am bursting with anticipation at the new things I am going to learn (and also I have a new planner and new notebooks, yay!)

This summer has been both relaxing and active, and I feel fully recharged and ready to tackle this year’s challenge: ‘Augustans & Romantics’; ‘Victorians’ and ‘Moderns’. After the good grades I got in last year’s examinations, I have decided to take on a new challenge and try and make up for not registering for examinations the year I was going to give birth to The Little One.

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Sweet, sweet victory

Ana holding her baby's handOn the 18th I got my results. While I was very tempted to publish a post a few hours after having checked my results, in the end I decided to wait at least 24 hours to cool off and I am glad I did. My previous post felt a bit like I was bragging, and that was not my aim at all.

Well, here it goes: I have achieved my best grades up until now.

You cannot imagine how this feels to me: “Like victory”. Yes, sure, but it is a little bit more than that. At the beginning of the year I told you my studies had become a way to reconnect with myself. With a part of me getting blurred out by all the new feelings of maternity, my studies became the only thing that did not make me feel like a human pacifier or a teddy bear or just a plain old mattress to sleep on top of.

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Gemstones of this course year

GemstonesTo complement my last post, I decided to write about the most helpful resources I used this year in order to prepare the two modules I had registered for (‘Intro. to English Language’ and ‘Renaissance & Restoration’). Almost all of these are specific to the BA English degree syllabus, but perhaps students from other disciplines are curious about what we read or may be interested in some of the topics. Prospective students of these two modules may find something interesting among the titles I mention.

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A year’s evaluation (2016-17)

RollercoasterMy, my. What a roller-coaster this year has been, phew! I see myself now in a very different place from the starting point of my journey. Throughout this year I have reconnected with myself, learned one or two new things and basically enjoyed getting lost in books. If you are anything like me, you probably spent the two weeks after your last examination cursing yourself because relevant ideas for your essays kept popping up in your head. We went to Spain to visit relatives and to enjoy the warm weather there (warmer than Luxembourg, at any rate) and I still could not shake off this feeling of having lost the opportunity of getting a better grade.

To get the much-needed closure on this year I canalized my energy and my concern for my studies in an evaluative effort, trying to ascertain how realistic I was in my initial appraisals, how I have adjusted to changes and how everything turned out in the end. I think it is wiser to do this before getting examination results, that way the evaluation is less mediated by the final outcome. You know I am a firm contender for focusing on the process instead of results.

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