I hate to say it but we are moving closer to exam time, the most important part of the year for all distance learning students. No matter how big or small sacrifices have felt over the past year, the sacrifices have been made and they deserve a reward at the end. For some this is the last chance saloon where failure is not an option. So here are some thoughts to inspire you through to the end. I could have written study tips but there are enough already online.
1. No pain no gain
Many people have forgotten that crossing pain barriers simply makes us stronger. Like weight lifting in the gym builds up muscles, crossing mental barriers builds up mental strength. Sometimes it may seem like a wall is in front of us stopping us from achieving our goals, but in reality it is simply a line we must cross to enter “the zone”. Whereas past generations had to spend hours searching through books for information, we have a variety of resources available to us. Everything is there for us to succeed, we just have to use it. We’ve got to stop being part of a soft generation who are afraid of a bit of pain.
2. Run towards success, don’t run away from failure
The odds are by the time you are 30, life has slapped you in the face. If you are like me, you have been slapped many times. As an adult did you become who you wanted to be as a child? When you signed up for your course you wanted to succeed and to be more than what you are. That is why you paid the fees. If you didn’t then you’ve got issues spending money. Part of winning the battle with exams comes from believing you will succeed before you enter the room. If you don’t believe you are good at maths, the chances are you are right because you never made the effort to learn maths. If you don’t believe you are good at exams you are probably right because you never learned how to do exams. Question your doubts and strengthen those areas. Don’t hide from them till the last moments.
3. Be a role model to your children, not an example of what they shouldn’t be
I once walked past a father taking to his daughter. He was telling her he wished he had a better job but was stuck in his job because he didn’t make an effort in school. He was telling her she needed to make more effort in school to be more in life. It was an inspiring speech, but what would have been more inspiring would have been if the father had said ‘I can change my life today if I want to by making some effort’. If you are worried that your children are not getting enough attention from you know this one fact. That your children have the opportunity to see something the majority of children will never see, and that is their parents practicing what the are preaching. There will be a day when the studies will end and you will have a certificate on the wall to motivate your children. It won’t just change your life it will change the lives of those around you.
4. Thousands of other people have passed exams before you, you once passed them yourself: if it has been done before it can be done again.
Remember the feeling you felt when you were first a student. Recreate the moment if you have to. Play the old music, wear your old clothes, eat your favourite food from the time. Bring back the old youthful energy. It is still in you somewhere. You just forget about it. Put a picture of your graduation on the wall, as your computer or mobile phone screen wallpaper. That is the trophy you are aiming for. It is your Olympic gold medal. It is your World Cup final. Graduation day will be the proudest moment of your life. On exam day you will be someone else’s hero.
5. Embrace the challenges
No one wants you to fail, if the bus is late on the way to exams it is not a sign, if it rains nature is not against you. On the contrary, everyone wants you to succeed, because the world is better when you succeed than when you fail. Think positively and good things will come your way. The challenges you overcome just make victory sweeter. They stop life from being boring and keep us on our toes. They also make good stories for the future.
I am not writing anymore – I’ve got studying to do. Feel free to write your motivational thoughts for other students in the comments section.
Mustafa is studying the MSc Epidemiology by distance learning in London, UK.