Staying connected in exam season

A library with a large window and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves.

Exam season can be such an isolating experience. I find myself sitting at my desk for hours with only my desk lamp and emotional support water bottle to keep me company.

With deadlines piling up and exams starting, I can feel myself pulling away from social commitments and my friends. I’m spending longer amounts of time cooped up in my room which leaves me feeling drained, sometimes just staring at my screen waiting for willpower or motivation to strike. It’s a familiar cycle, but this time I want to make some changes to avoid falling further into these negative feelings and isolation.

These are some strategies that have helped me feel better in the past and I’ve been reminding myself to turn to them this exam season:

Reaching out to friends to have a study session.

I find it comforting to be with people who are in the same boat as me, knowing I’m not alone in these stressful times. Planning study breaks and keeping each other motivated really helps me push through some extra work. They are also an amazing source of support, sometimes in the form of reassurance, or offering a different perspective on a maze I’m lost in. Being able to return the support is empowering and warming. 

Changing study locations.

Sometimes I find studying with someone else to be distracting, getting carried away in particularly interesting conversations. In these instances, I still want a change of scenery whilst being in the presence of other people. My favourite spots to study other than my room are: 

  1. The State Library of South Australia- Particularly, the Mort Lock Wing. Studying here makes me feel like an academic from the 1900s, surrounded by tall shelves of books in soft lighting. Being in an environment where I can see other people also working is somehow comforting and motivating.
  2. Cafes- sometimes I like to romanticise my life and pretend I’m someone with their life together, casually studying at a cute cafe with a dark coffee and headphones in. 
  3. The Adelaide Health and Medical Science Building- for my fellow health science students. The third-floor study area features walls of glass so you can look over to city buildings in one direction, and on the other, the parklands and train lines. It’s quite amusing when the long trains look like toys from that distance. It’s perfect to get some sun while indoors with some fresh views.

What is your favourite way to stay connected during exam season?

Tagged in What messes with your head, Exams, Student life