The Countdown to Christmas
The lead up to Christmas can be a very exciting time but of course there happens to be one thing in the way: college work, assignments and of course study for those wonderful exams you may have to sit. It’s easy to get caught up in everything and feel pressure but remember it is important to look after yourself over the coming weeks. It is a tough couple of weeks but if you structure them then you’ll half the stress that lies ahead! We’ve compiled a few tips and tricks to help you survive the countdown to Christmas.
Get yourself a diary or draw out your calendar of deadlines/exam dates, include work shifts and any events you might have coming up and then work backwards. Organise your study/college work around the free time you have. There are absolutely no repercussions for scheduling some downtime either be it a game of pool (Pool Tournament every Thursday @ 8p.m.!) or heading up to the TV room (Netflix night every Tuesday @ 7p.m.). You also have full access to our study room (on the second floor btw, but you knew that) where you can study, do group work etc. Just remember to be mindful of others who are trying to study too!
Figure out how you work and what works for you. If you’re a night owl, no one is stopping you from working into the small hours just understand how you work best. Regardless of how much or little effort you put in, by simply skimming over something you’ll pick something up unknown to yourself. You learn something new every day!
Work in time to meet with friends, go for a walk around the Christmas markets (make sure you take advantage of them before it gets crazy busy after college ends) and take the time to relax, you deserve it. Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do. This may seem like a ridiculous thing to say but remember to look after yourself in very obvious ways to, have a shower, condition that hair, it’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole and forget about yourself but for everyone’s sake, please don’t.
The usual applies, have a good breakfast, bulk up on snacks and don’t forget the all-important rewarding treats for when you’ve typed your 300-word intro or studied that certain topic you’ve been avoiding since forever. Stay well-fed with healthy meals and drink plenty of water to fuel that brain power.
On Your Feet
Get out of your head and onto your feet every day. It’s very easy to click yes when Netflix asks if you’re still watching but getting outside and going for a little stroll is very helpful. Throw on a few tunes and get some fresh air into your lungs and clear the fog in your mind! Search for a few chair exercises or go to some kind of fitness class if that’s your thing, just keep active and don’t commit to the hermit life just yet folks.
No doubt like every student there might be an odd moment when you feel a little overwhelmed, there’s no harm practising a little bit of mindfulness or meditation. One little breathing exercise if you’re unfamiliar with is the 4-7-8 technique. Begin with breathing out all air in your lungs and then breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold that breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds and repeat. It’s a simple yet very effective exercise that will settle you if you need it (it’s really helpful for going to sleep too!).
Please don’t be afraid to ask to chat with someone though if you’re feeling down and out. The winter blues and the pressures that accompany them can become a little too much sometimes so we have plenty of supports available here in Galway and a Directory of Support Services just at reception if you’re looking for specific numbers!
Avoid the all-nighters, you might be able to do it but you will eventually crash and no amount of energy drinks will keep you going. Sleep is completely necessary so fit in time for a nap here and there. Your brain is working double-time and it needs all the rest it can get. If you’re sharing a twin-room perhaps discuss with each other how you work best and fix up a schedule between yourselves. Swuite quiet hours are 11p.m. to 7:30a.m. so maybe you could work out your own quiet hours!
Now that the countdown is on to Christmas, enjoy it. Go for a spin on the Ferris Wheel, head to the Beer Tent for the good tunes obviously, buy your Christmas presents. Come to our Swuite Christmas Party in reception (Nov. 28th) where you’ll have the chance to decorate for the festive season and hear a few Christmas songs (no admittance without Christmas jumper just fyi).
If you have any tips or tricks for surviving the end of the semester, please let us know. We would love to hear what works for you! Lastly, chill. You got this. Value yourself, assert yourself and appreciate the work you are doing for yourself.