5 Ways to Beat Revision Blues

Lifestyle

We at Rooted know that most of you are well into exam prep by now, but study leave can seem pretty intimidating. You might be like I was, daunted by the idea of trying to spend whole days revising but that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are a few ways I’ve managed to stay calm during exams…

1. Study in Different Places

One thing I find is that studying in your room can be the worst revision block you can give yourself. Disagree with me all you want but learning biological processes is pretty difficult when you’re in a room that meant for relaxing. A comfy bed, your pile of unfinished books and your Netflix set up are all here.

Once in a while, head out to a small café set up your laptop and notes and get to studying. Or better yet, get to a library and you might find some books to help you out on difficult topics. I find that if I have to make an effort to get to where I’m going, I’m much more intentional about how much work I’m doing.

2. Take a Productive Break

Did you know that the average amount of time that humans can concentrate for is 45 minutes? It’s good to take breaks every hour or so to refresh your brain. Cramming it with information may mean that you’re not actually taking in your notes.

If you want to take a productive break; take a quick walk around your house/school, make a cup of tea, do a 7-minute exercise challenge, nap for 20-30 minutes, bake a cake! All of these things are activities that are completely unrelated to school but have a distinct cut-off time.

Breaks like watching Youtubers, films or social media scrolling are for disciplined people because they may start as an innocent 10 minutes but can quickly spiral into an hour or two of time wasted. Try and save these activities for your longer breaks or a treat for once you’ve finished (See number 4)!

3. Set Manageable Targets

Let’s face it we all have that one topic/subject that we can’t struggle to get through, mine was GCSE Geography. The trick to success in these is to set mini goals that you want to achieve that session. This helps to divide the work into manageable chunks, for instance instead of writing ‘climate change’, you can write ‘causes’, ‘effects’, ‘management’. Set yourself targets and tick them off as you go.

4. Treat yourself

This is my favourite tip of all. Coursework and exam season is long, make sure to take time out to enjoy days with your friends and family. Go to the cinema, the park, museum, play some Fortnite or Fifa. Whatever your style, don’t forget to do the things you love in the midst of working so hard.

Don’t forget to do the things you love in the midst of working so hard. Maybe you can pay it forward and surprise your friends with some of their favourite things or invite them over to work together.

5. Talk to someone

If you really can’t get out of a revision slump let people know, there are so many people cheering you on to achieve your personal best but we know that it can also be really overwhelming.

It’s okay to take time out to breathe and it’s more than okay to reach out for help and tell people when you can’t cope. Especially as we approach exam season, speak to your teachers about the topic you are stuck on, let your personal tutor know how you feel and chat with your parents or youth leaders about what they can do to help you.


So in summary; take time to rest, study well, be confident and just do your best.

 

-A

 

P.S. I know there are a lot I’ve missed out but if you have any revision tips that I’ve missed, leave a comment below and good luck in all your exams!

Affirmations

Lifestyle

There’s power in the words that we speak over ourselves, 2 years ago, I read a blog in which Emma (Francis) Borquaye was talking about self-confidence, the title was “how do you see you”? That challenged me because although I’m not the grumpiest person in the morning I still didn’t wake up feeling ready to ‘attack’ my obstacles. I woke up, got a shower, did my reading and went to school. But after reading that post, I watched the video that she had linked where this little girl stood on her bathroom sink telling herself the things she liked about her life, from her hair to her room to her pyjamas (above).

Then a few months ago, ‘The Scene’ released a video of fathers telling their daughters similar things and I just thought “That’s exactly how God sees us!” The Bible is full of parables and verses of how God views us. Just like the fathers in this video, God wants to tell you that you are “loved, so unconditionally loved” (John 3:16), that you are wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14), that you can achieve amazing things with his help (Philippians 4:13), and that most of all, you have a purpose.

Now, maybe you already have someone in your life who tells you these things but it’s so important that you believe in yourself too!

Challenge for this week: Start your day with 5 daily affirmations that are short, snappy and make that process of waking up early a little bit easier. The first few days might make you feel ridiculous because you’re talking to yourself. But look in the mirror, say it with confidence and watch how your mood changes.

Here are a few ideas:

  • I am kind.
  • I am smart.
  • I am loved.
  • I matter.
  • I am talented. (Sandwich making is definitely an art form)
  • I love my hair.
  • I love my friends.
  • I am funny. (Even if that’s to yourself)
  • God is with me. (Psalm 16:8)
  • I have a voice. (Esther 4: 14)
  • I am a child of God. (Galatians 4:7) **probably the most important one to remember and will get its own post later on**

Link to Dad Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hkqi3D-oN8Y

Link to Emma’s Original Blog Post: http://emmalouisefrancis.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/how-do-you-see-you.html

-A

Overwhelmed But Not Overcome

Faith

Do you ever have one of those days where everything just seems to happen at once? First, you wake up late, then you forget to take money for lunch, you forget to bring in the one piece of homework you’ve actually done and then get about 5 hours of homework for the next day? Me too.

It’s a little-known fact that I did not handle stress well during A-levels, I was always super chill in public only to then go home and cry about everything I had to do. Productive, I know. But the great news is, God hasn’t called us to live a life like this, he’s called us into a life where we know where to put our fears. Now, take note I didn’t say that we’re to live a life without problems, Jesus himself says:

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 (NLT)

So, if Jesus tells us that we are going to struggle in life, why should we bother becoming a Christian? The above passage comes in the context of Jesus telling his disciples that he will soon be leaving them, he says that “you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me… you will grieve but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.” Jesus is explaining that there is a purpose for the pain that he will go through on the cross, even though in the moment they will not understand why such a thing should happen, the pain Jesus endures is only a pathway for incredible love to be uncovered. And though forgetting your lunch money may not be that big of a deal, you can read and apply John 16:33 to the bigger storms in your life.

Look at the underlined portion of that verse, the phrase ‘take heart’ is another way for Jesus to say, ‘remind your heart of this’. The word of God is not something that we should look at once, highlight and then move on from. We should constantly go back to it and remind ourselves of the promises that God has made over us. Promises such as “…you are fearfully and wonderfully made // The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still” or even “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.Reading these verses weekly/daily/hourly remind us how great God is and how much he cares for us in little but incredible details of our lives!

He says that he has ‘overcome’ the world, which means that it doesn’t matter if our battle is with anxiety, stress, insecurity, anger or illness; the truth is that, in the end, we win because God has already won. Winning doesn’t mean an easy road and it certainly doesn’t mean that we won’t struggle (I know I do), but it means that we can struggle hopefully, pray confidently, and work practically to move forward.

-A.

 

Featured Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

Responding to God

Faith

Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the LORD, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally, Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?” And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.” So they found him and brought him out, and he stood head and shoulders above anyone else.
1 Samuel 10:21-23 NLT

A bit of background, a couple of chapters ago Saul had been chosen to be king and as amazing as that opportunity was, he had to wait a few years before he actually became king of Israel. No doubt within those years he would have had to go through some training and have someone to advise him about the massive role he would take on.

I have a confession to make, I’m not so great at sticking to things. I love painting but the style that I admire requires years of practice. I love music but chord learning is all I have the patience for on the keyboard. I like quick and easy solutions to my problems and sometimes I’ll even quit something because I feel like I’m just fine knowing the basics. Saul was a little like me in a way, in 1 Samuel chapter 9 when Saul meets Samuel (the one who God tells to anoint Saul as king) for the first time he quickly replies with:

“…But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?”

1 Samuel 9:21 NLT

That word, only, we’ve all thought it before if we’ve been asked to do a certain job, maybe someone asked you to speak in assembly or your team to play against the current top of the league teams. It seems like Saul was quite happy at the level he was at, where no one knew him and he could live quietly.

It’s a normal response to go into hiding just like Saul did in the first passage, remember when Moses tried to wriggle out of approaching Pharaoh because he thought God couldn’t have possibly been talking to him? This tells us that, all those biblical heroes were human too, they got scared, they didn’t believe in themselves but God used their weaknesses and strengthened them. They didn’t have to have themselves together before he used them, just a bit of faith.

Most of the time when God calls us to do something, it’s uncomfortable, and you feel a bit like Saul standing out in the open; head and shoulders above everyone else. Remember that he’s not asking for your perfect self – he’s calling your ‘only’ and your ‘but’s’ and saying “hey, I’m here. Let’s give it a go together.”

So let us paint, play, dance, sing, write poems, write blogs, encourage others and love to the best of our abilities.

You are not too messy, your opinion is important, you will never be ‘ready’. If God has put these things on your heart then the only thing for you to do is respond.

-A.