I’m back!

I’m alive! (Much thought the last few weeks have attempted to see otherwise…)

I haven’t been blogging because of the dreaded exam season, which lived up to all expectations. 10/10, Imperial. As such, I thought I’d give a nod to the less sexy side of your uni time: revision!

A Day in the Life: Revision

9am: You wake up, roll over once, contemplate the snooze button, realise you have too much to do today to waste even ten more minutes, waste half an hour snoozing anyway, consider your revision plans for the day, consider your life, consider a humanities degree or emigration to Barbados, and finally get up.

10am: I usually catch breakfast on the way to the library, which is where I head for most of my revision. Halls rooms at Imperial are well-equipped for private studying, with plenty of shelf and desk space, high-speed internet, etc, but I’ve always preferred to head to the library anyway. For one, it’s much more likely I’ll actually get work done there–it’s much more shameful to be caught laughing at kittens when you’re surrounded by stressed rocket scientists–and it’s also a great place to study with your friends, either for group study or just for the pleasant silent company. The library has different sections depending on your work ethic, ranging from ground floor group study, where people could almost get away with murder, to the vaulted silent sections, where you WILL be murdered if you so much as scuff your foot coming in. I usually go to the fourth floor intermediate, the quiet section, where there’s computers and a lot of table space.

(Revision: One of the things you’ll learn at uni is proper revision technique–this is personal. Part of the point of first year is to give you time and practice for exam preparation. You’ll find out how best to revise only when you’ve actually got exams to prepare for! I’ve been going over all the lecture powerpoints, taking notes, and going over all the past papers)

1pm: Lunch break. I usually go down to the library cafe; it’s tucked right into the ground floor, has hot and cold prepared food (and lots and lots and lots of energy drinks), and saves you from actually (god forbid) having to set foot outside the library. If the weather’s pleasant, there’s nothing nicer than popping out to the Queen’s Lawn for a bit of sun and chat. Then back to the library we go!

(Revision at uni is overwhelming and chaotic. Remember school, where in theory you knew exactly what you could be asked, you could expect certain questions, and you had a sheet of maybe five formulas to memorise? Here you’ve a half year’s worth–for non-life sciences courses more toward a year’s worth–and you have to pick and choose what to revise well. Focus on what you’re best at, get past papers from your department family, and make a plan!)

7pm: Finish for the day. Sometimes I head back after dinner, from about 10-2 or so, but generally it’s best to get as much rest as you do revision. And time to see friends, maintain your social life, and relax.

Protip: Deep sleep cycles have been shown necessary for the conversion of short to long term memory (totally butchering the research here, bear with me!) In other words, you can study all day and retain next to nothing if you don’t have enough sleep that night to let the memories set. This is also why alcohol can make you forget things–it interferes with the cycles of REM sleep and thus blocks this process. Sleep!

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