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The ultimate Edi Uni autumn study guide

Spooky season is upon us…


As the sun sets earlier and it gets colder, spooky season is upon us and by that, I mean midterms and looming Turnitin deadlines.

Thankfully, there is nothing to fear, as I have compiled some tips to ensure that those days you are stuck in the library are a little less scary.

Study buddies

In the currently flooded streets of Edinburgh, it’s nice to have people in the same boat. And there’s lots of us. Spending all day on your laptop can feel super lonely so turn to the person you sit beside in your tutorial and ask if they want to join you to figure out this reading or ask your new mates at the pub quiz if they have anything due.

In a sea of work, you can find a small pool of people to laugh (or cry) with and that solidarity might be just what’s needed to give you a morale boost. The feeling of being part of a community learning together can make studying a motivating concept instead of an isolating one.

On top of this, given it gets dark at about four pm now, having people to walk and talk with can ward off any further winter blues.

Give yourself a break… literally

Sometimes, you need to accept sacrificing your free time for a while – it’s an inherent part of being a student that you can’t avoid. However, self-care doesn’t always look like rallying to keep your head down for another hour out of guilt, especially when the only live entity you have seen in the past five days is the mouse darting across your bedroom floor.

As students in Edinburgh, we are so lucky that there is an endless choice of activities. If we have a deadline, staying in Hive until three am might not be the best call that week but do join your pals for that lap around the meadows. Or meet the boys for a kickabout at Peffermill for an hour and catch up with the girls at Black Medicine after your lecture.

You do not have to study for 12 hours every single day; it’s genuinely counter-intuitive, and you shouldn’t feel any pressure to do that. One of the most important things I have learnt as a bit of a perfectionist over the years: you do not have to deprive yourself of life in order to do well; the two go hand in hand. The effect your mental health has on your studies is unbelievable, so (if circumstances allow) don’t beat yourself up over the occasional recess; enjoy it.

You do not have to study for 12 hours every single day; it’s genuinely counter-intuitive, and you shouldn’t feel any pressure to do that. One of the most important things I have learnt as a bit of a perfectionist over the years: you do not have to deprive yourself of life in order to do well; the two go hand in hand. The effect your mental health has on your studies is unbelievable, so (if circumstances allow) don’t beat yourself up over the occasional recess; enjoy it.

In tutorials, I can have a terrible habit of pretending I’m super confident about the task ahead when that is far from the truth. As you nod your head along with your classmates in your 9am, they are probably just as confused as you are, and equally afraid to admit it.

It took me far too long to realise that talking to the person who has actually set the work helps. When you don’t know where to begin, go to the source. Plenty of times, I’ve walked into my teacher’s offices weighed down with notes and left feeling slightly lighter. Voicing your concerns or knowing you’re on the right track can improve your outlook toward a seemingly intimidating workload.

Look after yourself

Yes, I know it sounds preachy, and my standards certainly slip during the peaks of coursework. But rocking up to campus on five hours of sleep, an uncharged laptop, and the absence of a much-needed extra hoodie is not it.

Not sacrificing your basic needs will make you more productive in the long run, even if it doesn’t seem like it when you’re in a hurry. For instance, that extra hour in bed might seem like starting your day off on the wrong foot, but you will get much more done if you are energised.

Dress to impress (yourself)

Bit of a rogue one, but something specific that sets the tone of my day is what I wear. It may seem superficial, but dressing in line with what I feel best in (rather than what I think I should wear) definitely impacts my mood. If it’s too stormy to leave my little corner of Bruntsfield, I still change into a cosy jumper.

I’m a major fan of working in cafés, so I have some of my comfiest jeans and favourite earrings reserved for study sessions. Taking an extra 10 minutes in the morning makes me feel a bit more together – a small step to tackle my class prep successfully. So, whether you are most relaxed in your sports gear or putting an outfit together is an integral part of your routine, keep it up.

Eating enough

If, like me, you cannot afford an African wrap every day, it’s a good thing to keep on top of. Every Thursday, I do a shop where I buy things for quick breakfasts and packed lunches. Cereal, sandwiches and pasta are my favourite cheap things to make quickly – the ideal combo when time is of the essence. When you feel your concentration and energy dwindle, a simple snack can most likely solve it.