Monday, 22 June 2015

My Study Space

Seeing as though I have finally finished my exams (a moment of appreciation for the fact I survived the exam period without TOO many breakdowns please) it's likely that I won't be studying intensely in this space again as I head to university in September. I thought you might be interested in my study space as it was for the duration of my A2 exams so I thought I'd explain some of the key features to you incase you're in search of inspiration for your own study space!

I almost always work at my desk in my room. If I feel like I need a change of scenery I will occasionally take my books and laptop outside or I'll sit on my bed but generally this is what I see while I revise. As my desk isn't actually that big, and I'm a big fan of spacing everything out around me, I sometimes move my laptop somewhere else, within reaching distance so I can still use it as a clock as well as having it to hand to look up more information if I don't understand something. Because I was spending so much time here I wanted to use the space I had on the side of my bookcase to put things I thought might motivate me when I'd really rather be doing something else. At the very top is a postcard I received from my insurance choice university wishing me luck in my exams which I thought was really lovely and in the middle are my favourite polaroids I got with my copy of Taylor Swift's 1989 album, mainly because I thought they just made the space look nice.

Hanging off the fairy lights around my book case I have two of these little signs. (The other says 'Chocolate is not just for breakfast') The one pictured in particular I love so much as I've always been a big fan of this Walt Disney quote and I think it's just a really nice and uplifting thing to read, especially when revising for important exams that you need to do well in. 

Stuck to my mirror is this good luck card my mum gave me last year. There were a few exams I was particularly stressed for and before each of them she reminded me of 'the biscuit' and although its a bit of a silly thing I just love the sentiment behind it. I'm a big believer in having lucky things even if their only purpose is to comfort you so I love this card a lot! Hanging next to it is a necklace I was sent by my family in New Zealand for my 18th Birthday. I miss them a lot so it's nice to have that near, even if they're not.

The last, and probably my favourite, thing in my study space is these two good luck cards that my lovely little cousins made me. Every time they make me cards it makes me incredibly happy and having these near me while revising reminded me that although I am 100% doing this for me and no one else, it would also be a nice added bonus if I could make them proud of me (even if they are both about a decade away from sitting their A-Levels). I especially love that one of them wrote me some little history facts and the 93 times table on it, just incase it came up.

There are a few other things dotted around the space like my little jar of happiness that one of my incredible best friends made me for my 18th Birthday or the grades that I'm aiming for to remind me that there is an end point to all of this but these are the main ones. 

I hope you've enjoyed looking at my study space! If there's something you particularly liked let me know what it was in the comments! Let me know if I've given you any inspiration for things to decorate your study space with too, I'd love to know.

Lucy x

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Study Motivation

While there are some lucky people out there already finished with their exams, the less fortunate of us, particularly us A2 students who are only just starting our exams, find ourselves trying desperately to power through. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling incredibly unmotivated some days, so I thought I'd share a few of the things I do when I'm searching desperately for motivation. Not all of them work for everyone all the time, but it may be enough to kick yourself into gear and sit down and revise for a bit, even if not for as long as you'd like.

1) Studyblr - Studyblr is actually what started the idea of this being a study blog during the exam period and I'm sure I'm not alone in finding it incredibly motivating. Although photos of pretty desks and people's revision notes that end up looking more like a work of art seems like a bit of a weird concept at first, I always find that after searching the 'studyblr' tag on tumblr I feel incredibly motivated to sit down and revise. Just try not to get sucked into the depths of tumblr while you're over there! (We've all been there)

2) Make pretty notes! - Speaking of those notes that look like works of art, try making some of those yourself! On days when I'm not feeling particularly motivated to revise I tend to gravitate towards making pretty notes because it means you get sort of mini-breaks every now and then while you draw something or colour something in. It's also been proven that colour helps you remember information better (I know this is 100% true for me, I swear by colour coding) and if, like me, you remember things visually and try and picture things on a page it makes it a lot easier to recall information! I also know I'm so much more likely to look back on my notes if they're pretty.

3) Listen to music - I always used to think that if I listened to music while studying I'd get distracted. While many people swear by listening to classical music while revising, I've never been a huge fan of classical music and I assumed that anything with lyrics would be distracting, but that's not necessarily the case. I find if I choose something that I don't know very well I can stay focused, because I'm able to ignore the lyrics. Anything I know the lyrics to is a no-go for me, because I almost always end up singing along, but sticking to things that are quite new to me has proven to work quite well so far this exam season. My two current favourite revision albums are Hozier's album and James Bay's album, but I also like to put the 'Afternoon Acoustic' playlist on Spotify on which is great because it throws up loads of things I haven't heard before but it's all got a similar, calm vibe to it, perfect for concentrating!

4) Get outside - No, seriously! If you're stuck inside all day every day throughout the exam period it's going to slowly drive you crazy and I've definitely been feeling that this year, far more than in previous years. It doesn't even have to be for long, go for a 10 minute walk around the block or go for a bike ride in the evening, just get yourself out of the house and in the fresh air for a little bit. I've found that doing this even just every few days really helps to clear my head, which I personally think is important at this time of year. With so many things to concentrate on and learn it's important to give your brain a little rest and my personal favourite way to do that at the moment is by being outside and not having to think about anything for a little while.

5) Don't beat yourself up about it - We all have incredibly unproductive days, it's okay. Don't feel like you're going to fail all your exams because you woke up later than you would've liked today or because you didn't manage to finish the notes on the topic like you'd planned. Just work through it as much as you can, but if you can't, forgive yourself for it. As long as you're not doing this every day, it's fine. If you need to, take time off and have some 'me' time and just accept that today it's not going to work out but tomorrow you're going to really get stuck in to make up for it.

That's my 5 little motivation tips. Like I said, they don't always work and while these work for me, they may not for you. If you've got any more tips leave them in the comments, I'm sure we could all benefit from them! (Especially me!)

Good luck to everyone taking exams, head over to my tumblr for more exam season inspiration and motivation!

Lucy x