Hey everyone, Megan here!
I want to pop on today to offer students some advice.
I know it’s a stressful and overwhelming time for those of you in your final year of college who are facing huge uncertainty about how you’ll be assessed. I spoke to current first-year students at Salford who didn’t get to sit their exams last year either to give you guys an insight into how they got through it.
The good news is they all made it to university and you can too! I’ve rounded up their tips and tricks on how to get through the next few months and come out thriving on the other side 👊
GET SOME FRESH AIR
Almost every student I spoke to has emphasised the importance of getting out in the evenings for some good ol’ fresh air. It recharges the brain and it’s good for the soul!
“I went out with my dogs every night and listened to music. That was my way of de-stressing each day.”Tiegan Myers
PAY ATTENTION TO NUTRITION
As tempting as it is to sit in on your laptop and polish off those tins of Roses left over from Christmas, be sure to get in an apple or two as well! It can be hard to keep up concentration levels at home, so add in some “brain food” on a regular basis.
“I used to have a healthy lunch every day to break up the day and to keep my brain going.”Tiegan Myers
“If eating an entire pizza at midnight is how you keep going, then I say do it! Just wake up the next morning and eat a nutritious breakfast.”Ethan Bromley
CULTIVATE A PRODUCTIVE ENVIRONMENT
Last year’s A-level students benefitted majorly from working in an appropriate environment. So set up your work space at home and decorate your desk with fake plants, candles and anything else that makes you feel calm. Oh and another thing, open those curtains and make that bed, your mind will automatically feel less cloudy!
“My workspace was really important. I set up a space in my house as close as possible to a classroom set up to keep motivated.”Lucy Marcombe
FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT
Another tip which I love is to get up every morning and get ready as if you are going into school. Getting dressed, brushing your hair and putting on your favourite lipstick will make you feel confident and ready to take on the day. That’s something I do too when I work or study from home. It will trick your brain into work mode (hopefully).
“I got up every morning and got dressed as if I was still going to college, if I didn’t do that I wouldn’t feel as productive. I always put some make-up on to make me feel like I was going somewhere.”Tiegan Myers
KEEP UP YOUR ATTENDANCE
Remember: “80 percent of success in life is just showing up”, so make sure you’re the first to those video calls every time.
“Having online lessons before I started university was a huge help. It helped me to improve my self discipline so I’m happy we had the chance to attend.”Lucy Marcombe
Last year’s A-level students turned to their classmates for support and advice. Keep in touch with your friends, note what is going well for them and replicate it. Try out their different work methods and switch it up.
“Me and my classmates understood each other and how we were all feeling, we would always help each other out. It was the encouragement from each other that kept us going. It’s so important to be there for your friends.”Anisha Iqbal
“Talking to my mates everyday was very helpful. In particular the people I would normally see in my classes, it just keeps things feeling as normal as possible.”Ethan Bromley
PICTURE YOUR GOALS
When you’re sat at that desk for the fifth day in a row, staring at the walls, try to picture what life will be like when you come to university in a few months. All of the new friends you will make, the places you will go and the new adventures you will embark on – all of your hard work will be worth it!
“I just kept picturing uni life in my head and that gave me the boost I needed to keep going. I was so looking forward to moving out and experiencing uni life, I just kept thinking about getting to uni.”Anisha Iqbal
No question is a silly question during these times. Utilise your teachers and get the support you deserve. Imagine how great your work could become if you set yourself a goal to ask one question every day for the next few weeks. Simply asking how your work can be improved will bring about a better outcome for you.
“Teachers want to help you as much as they can because they understand how stressful it is. So I would say to keep asking them questions and keep getting your work looked at. That helped me so much. It’s scary to ask for help but if you don’t ask you won’t get.”Anisha Iqbal
Even though exams may be cancelled it’s important to keep taking notes for future use. Lots of last year’s A-level students use their notes from college to help them at university level. So keep on writing!
“Even though some online lessons were optional, I made sure to attend all of them and take notes because I knew I would use my notes in the future, especially if I wanted to resit my exams.”Lucy Marcombe
In a matter of months you will look back on this time in your life and feel proud for overcoming the challenge. If you’d like some support on the university application process, take a look at our online guides and register for upcoming events. You’ve got this!🙌