Restful revision: eight steps to a calmer, wiser you

revision photo

As the year wends its way towards its close, tensions tend to rise in some people.  Here are a few tips developed from a guide offered by Oxford University to all those about to take exams.

  1. A problem shared is a problem halved, as the saying goes.  Talk to your friends about anything that is worrying you; you will very likely find you are not alone.
  2. Keep a routine and get enough regular sleep.  This is a case of getting about the right amount for you.  Too little sleep can leave you tense, too much and you can feel groggy when you wake up.  Most people need about 6-8 hours each night and find going to sleep earlier benefits them more.
  3. Eat small regular meals with plenty of water, regardless of whether you feel hungry at the time.
  4. Make sure you take time out of studying to do something relaxing.  Remember the 25:5 rule – spend five minutes doing something different and diverting for every 25 minute intensive study you put in.
  5. Get outside and exercise.  It is proven to shake your mind loose of the shackles of worry and re-focus on what is important.
  6. Breath gently and deeply.  Follow your breath with your mind, notice thoughts come up and petition your mind for attention.  Notice them, love them, let them go.  After a few moments you will feel more in control for having acknowledged your thoughts without having let them take over.
  7. Start early and plan your revision so you can be sure you have left enough time for everything.  Leaving everything to the last minute will lead to stress you can just do without.
  8. Don’t put your life on hold just because you have exams coming up.  Deliberately set aside time to do what you enjoy and which makes you happy.  After all, you work and learn best when you are happy, and even if not, who wants to spend a month or two every year feeling miserable!

Photo by jez`

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More space to express yourself

What every group of creatives needs is a space to express themselves that is as big as their ideas.  That’s why we are now offering wall-sized whiteboards in some of our group study rooms, so you can dream big and draw bigger!

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Surviving the assignment hand-in season

deadline photoKnow thy deadline!

Late work attracts no marks, and lecturers are often unforgiving. There are lots of good things that you can do if you manage to finish your assignments even a few days earlier.  Click Read more for top tips on surviving hand-in season with your sanity and marks intact! Read more ›

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Studying 25 to 5 – the importance of being distracted to effective study

It’s good to take a break and do something completely different.  It resets your concentration, stops you getting stressed and makes for an effective working pattern.  One popular technique first established in the 1980s is the “Pomodoro Technique” (named after the tomato shaped cooking timer used by its inventor, pomodoro being Italian for tomato) which comprises working towards a specific goal for 25 minutes and then changing activity to something completely different for 5 minutes to reset your concentration.  Go for a walk, get a drink, colour something in, pick up your origami project, stretch at your desk – the activity is less important than that you are moving about and focusing your mind on a totally different task so that you can return to learning afresh for another productive 25 minute stint.

Click Read more for our favourite examples of five minute breaks you can use throughout the day.  Do you have a favourite distraction activity we have not thought of?  Let us know in the comments below. Read more ›

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Easter opening hours

easter photoPeople have been asking when we are open over Easter.  It’s an easy one to answer: we are open 24/7 the whole time.  We expect only Security staff will be working over the long bank holiday weekend itself (14-17 April) but we all expect to be here as usual either side of that four day holiday.

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Stressless activities

Rowing machineI was chatting with our friendly Sports and Recreation co-ordinator a few weeks ago about how we could work more closely together to encourage hard working students to take a regular break and let off steam.  Exercise breaks reduce stress, boost concentration and help keep you in top shape ready for whatever your summer brings.  We came up with lots of fun and promising ideas that we are working on.

First of all, we are delighted to confirm Sports & Recreation will be offering a Stressless Activities programme to all students (whether you have paid to join the gym or not!) during the examination and assessment period from 24th April until 2nd June.  This will include free use of St Paul’s gym from 7 – 9 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as other free sports sessions and events that we will let you know about nearer the time.

Until then, there is always space for a quick stroll, run or full blown workout in leafy Ravelin Park!

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World Poetry Day

poetry photoSince records began, poetry has formed part of our oral tradition, connecting ideas across continents, cultures, civilisations and generations.  World Poetry Day, seeks to recognise the power of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind and to celebrate the poetry of all cultures, including poems from endangered languages.

Discovery our collections of poetry online or shelved in Area 1B at 809.1.


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Smile – it’s the International Day of Happiness

Today is the International Day of Happiness, so turn that frown upside down, ditch your worries or get in touch for help finding and referencing the best information available for your assignments.

Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness to everyone, everywhere. In 2015 the UN launched 17 Sustainable Development Goals that seek to end poverty, reduce inequality, and protect our planet: three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness. Popular blue cartoon characters The Smurfs explain this idea further in this video below. Join the celebration using hashtag #SmallSmurfsBigGoals.

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Student Money Week: how to cook food on a budget (demonstration)

cooking photoDiscovering grub on a grant is not all you hoped for?  Don’t miss the budget cooking demonstration outside the Waterhole Bar next Wednesday, 22 March 2017, which is part of Student Money Week.

Photo by Iain Farrell

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New eBooks – Feb. 2017

What follows is a list of new electronic books received by the Library during February 2017 ordered by title. More complete details, as well as listings from previous months, are available on our website’s New Books page in the form of downloadable Excel spreadsheets.

Read more ›

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