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

Train Your Mind

The purpose of education is two-fold. Firstly, to make us knowledgeable about a subject, which allows us to apply what we’ve learned later on in our lives. And secondly, to inculcate a mental sophistication which refines our thinking capabilities. One of the reasons we chose the University of London is because we believed in the quality of its education and its ability to do both of those things.   books on a shelf

Yet, unfortunately, most of us don’t do one of the major parts of the carefully designed curriculum: the readings. I admit, there are hundreds of them, and, especially to a new student, they can seem quite intimidating. Unfortunately, what most of us do instead, is either skim or not read them at all in order to cover our courses quickly. I too have to read constantly in order to try and keep up. And that’s exactly why this topic appealed to me: why were so many of us not willing to commit to such an essential part of the course and yet expect to do well in the exams and later as professionals. Continue reading

How to stay motivated while studying

Hello, I am Ruby from the Seychelles Islands. I am a second year law student. For my first blog, I would like to share some of the things I do to stay motivated while studying.Ruby in the Seychelles

Interestingly, the word “motivation” derives from the latin word “movere”, which means “to move”. Thus, when thinking about motivation, it is good to ask two questions “What moves me to study?” and “What moves me to persist in studying?” Perhaps the answer to the first question is the value we attach to obtaining a degree, or the interest we have in the subject, or it may well be the feeling of accomplishment that comes with graduating. While it is important to understand what motivates us to study, this blog post will focus on the second question “What moves me to persist in studying?”, in other words, how I stay motivated to study. Continue reading

Approaching My Study Materials

Here are some words to live by: try never to live anywhere with a season called ‘mud.’ It was a typical late winter weekend in South Western Pennsylvania which mbarn and pony in the snoweans we had nine inches of snow here in the Laurel Mountains on Saturday and Sunday. Now, on Tuesday, it’s close to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The streams and rivers are gorged with snow melt.  Our pasture moved well beyond spongy and water-logged under my feet to something like gooey chocolate pudding. Even the horses and my dog are happy to gaze longingly at the soupy fields from our perches in the barn and tack room where I’ve taken to studying.  We’re patiently waiting for mud season to pass and everything to turn summer-green. Continue reading

A busy professional’s guide to learning

In my last blog “It is a long road ahead but it is worth it” I talked about what motiLearning is not attained by chancevated me to return to study and my struggle in finding the course that I am passionate about. Having passed that stage, “the motivational stage” as I call it, it is now time to get into “the reality stage” because, as Abigail Adams said, “Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” This, one might say, is where the rubber meets the road. 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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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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Find a pattern of studying that works – Be your own superhero

Pages of diary datesHow to make a study plan working towards the exams.

Firstly, you must decide what your aim in the upcoming examination session is. That is, do you wish to just ‘pass’ or are you working towards exceeding your own expectations and truly succeeding. If a pass is sufficient for you, then relax and continue to do what’s working for you. If you wish to succeed in the true sense of the word, then continue to read.

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The key to self-studying for a degree

the-harder-the-battle-the-sweeter-the-victoryNobody said that it is going to be easy. Anyone who grows up in a traditional education system would have the idea of pedagogy that naturally conjures up the picture of a classroom of students and a teacher. Nobody said that to acquire a degree through self-studying, without guidance, is going to be smooth sailing. However, no one has said that it is an impossible task either.

I believe that most of us in the UOL long distance program shoulder the same responsibilities: work, family and studies. As if to juggle these is not challenging enough, some of us have also taken the degree course without any additional help: we study without attending any local teaching institutions. A daunting task it is, but, we must not forget the one big perk that is attached to it – flexibility.

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