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Why We Should All Make Time for Tea

By Alethea MacPhail

I thought I’d start with a story – stop me if this sounds familiar. You’ve known that an event (I refuse to call it an exam. That just makes me all the more stressed) is coming up for a while. You’ve been preparing for it for as long as you can, you’ve made colour coded notes, you have even pinned up post-it notes all over the available vertical spaces around you. Yet you still feel like you know nothing, and this two or three-hour event will define your future for all the years to come. You study for all the hours in the day, and ignore the outside world.

Then the day comes, the one bit you didn’t revise comes up, and life crashes about your ears.

There are several ways to deal with this. Cry, be annoyed at yourself, eat your feelings. Or sit and talk about it with someone over a hot drink and your favourite cake/sweet food. I find it has a similar effect to crying – it is quite cathartic.

When sitting looking over notes, it is habit to hide away with them so no-one can tell you how well they’re doing, and make you panic even more. Yes, there is logic to this approach, but this is definitely a double edged sword. It makes your friends wonder how you’re *really* doing, and will only make you lash out at them/sob on their shoulder when they inevitably ask “So how are things?”.

I know all too well how this can affect things, as my approach used to be study in all the hours whatever all-knowing-deity-in-the-sky gave me, and never relax as that was time wasted. This led to several sad events, me losing about a stone or so in weight and ultimately life crashing about my ears. It pays to build in breaks with food, small fluffy animals, or the latest Pokémon game. (Sun or Moon? Personally I favour moon).  It will help in the long run, I promise. So in that vein, my top super tips for this week:

  • Don’t start working at 8.45am sharp. Sleep in, eat a good breakfast, watch an episode of something. No-one can work on an empty stomach or on next to no sleep.
  • Just because it works for the person next to you, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Try and try again until something does work. Remember, we’re all human.
  • Friends just want to help you, so do not turn down offers of lunch/coffee/a walk. That extra hour with a book is not going to make or break you as a person
  • Make timetables by all means, but not if they only make you want to curl up in a corner and cry.
  • Plan good meals. Good meals fuel all the bodily processes, and it’s an excuse to justify eating a whole pizza for lunch.
  • Have a friend on call if things get too much.
  • In that vein, know who will answer the phone at 3am/come over with ice-cream and a small shovel or two.
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