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

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

Studying and depression

Depression is a mental illness that has been in the headliDepressionnes recently. I always think “mental illness” is a slightly derogatory term and just consider myself living with a long-term illness. That’s just me though and I don’t want to (and won’t) get into a debate about the correct term to use. Certainly a significant number of students, at some time in their lives, have to face this illness. So I thought it might be worthwhile writing a blog from a “depressed student’s” point of view. Continue reading

New Year equals new pressures but old resolutions

Dear Reader,

I’d be remiss if I do not start by wishing you a Happy New Year. And to fellow students, may you find the time to study and to complete your assessments on time, anResolutionsd, more importantly, may you pass your assessed assignments and final exams!

As I take one last look at something I vow to give up in 2018, I can’t help but also look around the corner at what’s ahead. For a lot of people, including me, January 1 2018 meant an opportunity to make New Year’s resolutions. But for me, and fellow students, it is really new pressures with old resolutions that were made in October, back when we registered for our course. 2018 means the time to crank up our studies to receive passing grades. So, it is only fitting to think of a New Year’s resolution in terms of passing the final exams! Continue reading

Staying motivated

I have been struggling to stay motivated in my studies lately. I promised myself that this year would be different.

I only took one paper last year. I gave myself plenty of excuses and good reasoDesk with books, highlighters and listsns to only take one paper… I was too busy, I wasn’t sure if I could do the full degree so if I did the introductory paper only, I could get a certificate and call it a day if I realised this was not for me… and so on. Truth to be told, I was too scared of failing. I was covering my bases in order to comfort myself once the time came… Surprisingly enough, I did better than I expected and even more surprising, I enjoyed myself… A LOT. Continue reading

A humanitarian worker’s practical reflections on the coursework

In my last blog entitled “A Busy Professional’s Guide to Learning” I ended it with a quote by Alfred Mercier, who said that “What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” After using this quote, I thought that it could be a cliché. After all, learning is hard work and how can it be pleasurable too? Isn’t this an oxymoron? Perhaps, Mr. Mercier was speaking of some other forms of learning, one which does not involve my Demography and Health coursework, with its formulas and a lengthy glossary of terms, and so on. For a first-year MSc student, this coursework has been everything but a pleasure. Continue reading

What did first month of study teach me?

This is my 4th week in university, slowly and gradually starting to adapt to university routine. University is definitely a whole new level for me, it’s actually a hybrid of secondary school and polytechnic. 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