Why Learn a Language?

by David Winlo


So, you are a student now. A student of… biology? Or history, or English literature. You don’t need to know another language for that, do you?

Well, it might help quite a lot actually. Another language will enable you to read about your subject in other languages, talk to more people working or interested in your field and help your brain perform better, whatever you’re doing.

Depending on your subject you may well find some of the most useful literature is not written in your language. Reading foreign scientific literature may seem impossible, but it needn’t be. You may never have studied another language, or you may never have enjoyed studying another language because it wasn’t taught well in your school, but rest assured that now is a good time to start.

If you can’t decide what language you want to learn, what country you want to learn about, what nation’s studies will benefit yours the most, pop along to the languages fair. There you can hear more about why languages are important for your studies, career and more. You’ll see what languages UEA can offer you, how you’ll fit them in with the rest of your subjects and get advice on which language you should learn.

The languages fair will be in ARTS 0.24 (James Platt Centre) on Thursday 29th September from 13:00-14:00 and free to all first year students


Physical Health for Freshers

By Alyssa Ollivier-Tabukashvili

gwnsgnsafqm-brooke-larkAs you dive into a new kind of independence at university, it’s easy to get caught up in a spiral of nights out, drunk takeaways, and then hangover food. Of course, you might not be the type to go out at all, but without your parents or guardian looking out for you, it can be difficult to stay in control of your physical health.

The important thing is to have good habits from the start. Sure, it’s called “Freshers’ Week”, but in reality, freshers’ lasts practically a month, and some treat the entire first year as freshers’ week. If you don’t give yourself boundaries from the first day, you’re likely to develop long-lasting bad habits or fall into a downward spiral.

With this in mind, you can go out, drink (or not), and maybe get that late night take out if you really want, while keeping control throughout the day. That’s to say, eating well, getting into a good exercise routine and drinking plenty of water. These three things can be simple enough if you start right.

– Have a water bottle that you drink from throughout the day so you know how much you’re taking in. You could even have 3-4 disposable water bottles nearby (generally 500ml each) so you don’t ‘forget’ to refill.

– Make drinking this much water a habit. Yeah, you’ll have to pee a lot, but think of how satisfying and detoxifying it is, especially when it’s clear or a light yellow.

– We all get a little carried away when student finance comes in, so if you’re going to splurge, why not on good food? Get yourself some fish, lean meats, eggs, tofu, and then fresh fruit and vegetables. If you’re unsure on how to use them, even a 1kg bag of frozen vegetable mix is all you need to get you going and is much cheaper.

– Everyone has different priorities with finance, of course, so if you decide food isn’t one, you don’t have to buy organic or fresh all the time, if you’re making the minimal effort to get a balance of protein and vitamins then you’re starting well.

– To avoid eating processed and high-sugar snacks, don’t buy them. Easier said than done, but if they’re not there to eat, they won’t be going in your body.

– Also, remember that no one will think you’re strange for turning down a flat take out. Sure, they’re great for bonding with your flatmates, but if consumed regularly they’re costly and unnecessary. Your cooking will impress them far more and you can still eat together.

– For exercise, you have a number of options: join a sports club, this keeps you committed to some form of movement on a weekly basis; join the gym, maybe knowing you spent money on that membership will keep you going; or go for a run for free or use online workouts.

– Even if you’re not motivated to do rigorous exercise yet, going for a decent-length walk multiple times a week is enough to get your heart rate up a bit. Walk a couple rounds of the lake by the Ziggurats (you’ll get a nice Insta-worthy picture that way), or walk into the city centre.

If you are going out and drinking, here are also a couple of things to remember:

Pre-drink reasonably. Pre-drinking is this big phenomenon I only heard about once coming to university. In theory it’s excellent, but in practice, from all that I have seen and heard, it defeats itself.

-Remember to be reasonable then, if you’re pre-drinking to save money, don’t actually buy the drinks at the club after.

– Don’t start so early that you have to keep drinking to avoid ‘sobering up’.

– Even better, don’t buy into the idea that you can only have a good time if you’re throwing up at the door.

– If you are capable of making the decision, don’t get the post-club pizza or chips. All the salt and fats that go into your body after all the alcohol won’t do you any favours- except maybe emotionally.

Most of all, freshers’ week is your fun way to ease yourself into your new life. But it’s important to remember that you can be moderate; you can go out and have fun and drink if you want, but that does not mean that everything else has to be crazy too. Do your body a favour and remove your makeup, have a glass of water next to you, and tuck yourself into bed.

 And when you’re not going out, give your body the best remedy possible: a good night’s sleep.

Image from Unsplash, by Brooke Lark

Five Steps to Enjoying Your Food at University

By Alex Stapleton

You have a fantastic amount of freedom at university, perhaps for the first time in your life. This also means that you have to feed yourself as well! I realised how much I enjoyed cooking when I was in my flat at UEA, and while you will undoubtedly miss home cooking, there are plenty of ways to still enjoy your food while you are studying in Norwich.


  1. Learn to cook

Possibly the most important thing on this list, being able to cook is a very important skill that you’ll need. Not only can it be cheaper to cook your own food than buy ready meals all of the time, it is far healthier and is another activity that you can do to get out of your room and socialise with your new flatmates. There are also cooking classes available through the Student’s Union throughout the year, often labelled as “Give It A Go” sessions, so make sure you are in the loop when it comes to these things.


Of course, cooking isn’t for everyone. You can make meals as complex or as simple as you like and can even enlist the help of friends! Ready meals are also becoming healthier, so it is not always a bad choice to have one of these after a long day of lectures if you don’t feel like cooking.


  1. Know your kitchen

In the campus flats, one of the first things you may notice is that there are no ovens. In fact, the microwaves double up as ovens, which took my flat about a week to actually realise and figure out how to work! Familiarise yourself with the appliances in your kitchen, as well as the utensils that you are going to bring with you. It can be very irritating when you have decided to make a certain meal and realise you haven’t got the right equipment! Sharing kitchen utensils is a great way to minimise this chance, so long as you all wash up after yourselves!


  1. Eat out

Food that you know you have put lots of effort into can be very enjoyable, but there is nothing like eating at a restaurant or getting a takeaway every now and again. It gives you a break from cooking for a night and also a chance to bond with your friends and flatmates (if you choose to eat with them!). There are so many restaurants in Norwich, especially at Riverside, so you will always be spoilt for choice! Going with other people is obviously a lot cheaper and more enjoyable, just don’t forget your NUS discount card!


There are also plenty of places on campus to eat. The Campus Kitchen, Zest and Ziggy’s all offer food at a reasonable price, and the bars also have a selection of pizzas and fast food cooked on site to enjoy.


  1. Get a cookbook

Getting a cookbook is a brilliant idea for many reasons. It gives you a whole range of dishes to cook and enjoy, and encourages variety in your diet. Making something new is always exciting, and I always add a little note in my cookbooks about how the food turned out. Most cookbooks now offer healthy and vegetarian alternatives, and there are so many out there to choose from. I recommend the “Nosh” student cookbook series. These are filled with easy recipes that can be cooked in student accommodation, and give you an indication of how easy they are, as well as how much they cost, so you can stay on top of your finances. It also gives examples of food planners, where you can plan out your meals for a week, identify the ingredients you need, and find out how much it is all going to cost. Shopping around for ingredients is also encouraged, as you can get a good quality week of meals for between £15-£20 if you shop right!


  1. Try to eat healthily

It can be so tempting to just go off the rails at uni, since you have no one to tell you to eat your vegetables or have your five-a-day. It’s all down to you, so creating food which is not only tasty but nutritious is very important. Make sure you are buying and using fruit and vegetables (many of which are available frozen so they don’t go out of date in a week) every day, and a variety of these is also important. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I know it can be very difficult to stomach it when you wake up at 2pm with a hangover after a night at the LCR (we’ve all done it at UEA and the new Freshers will do soon too!), but having even a piece of fruit within 10 minutes of waking up prepares you for an exciting day at university. Ideally, a perfect breakfast is a bowl of cereal, a glass of water and a piece of fruit, so try your best to start your day right.


Cooking can often be seen as a chore, but there are many ways to make it fun and interesting when you have your kitchen and all the freedom you like.

Image from: www.unsplash.com

Billy Talent Continue Change in Lyrical Theme With New Album ‘Afraid of Heights’

By David Winlo

Billy Talent have always shown a mixture of themes in their lyrics, mainly focusing on relationships, trust and politics, since their 2003 self-titled debut album. As of their 2012 album ‘Dead Silence’ though, the main focus has moved slightly from relationships and trust to politics. This is shown clearly on their new album, right from track one, ‘Big Red Gun’, an anti-gun, anti-Donald Trump song – something I’m sure we can all agree is needed these days.

The album’s central and titular theme, that we as a society should not be afraid of “heights” (in a metaphorical sense, of not limiting ourselves or our efforts to improve ourselves), is effectively conveyed throughout, both through Ben Kowalewicz’s lyrics and singing, and the band’s music. Billy Talent is known for their unique style, which has not been lost here. Fans of Ian D’Sa’s guitar work won’t have to go far on this album to find yet more original riffs, and a fair few interesting guitar solos. Jordan Hastings, drummer of Alexisonfire, also deserves special mention for his excellent work filling in for the band’s usual drummer Aaron Solowuniuk, who was unable to play for the recordings of ‘Afraid of Heights’ due to an MS relapse.

As yet unmentioned highlights include ‘Ghost Ship of Cannibal Rats’, which speaks of class struggle and our unsustainable treatment of the environment, ‘Louder Than the DJ’, which serves as an anthem for rock music, and ‘Leave Them All Behind’, which tells us not to listen to those who tell us what we can’t achieve and instead to let go of our worries of failure and, to put it simply, just go for it. I recommend this one to anybody struggling with an essay in the coming academic year!

Readers who are fans of Billy Talent or their new album may be interested to know they can catch the Canadian punks on Wednesday 12th October this year in the LCR. I look forward to seeing you there.

Image from Billy Talent’s website

8 Do’s and Don’ts For Your Wardrobe This September

By Elizabeth Wigley

Looking at that massive heap of clothes, shoes and bags can be daunting when deciding what to take with you to university. You may feel like you’re moving millions of miles away and need to pack everything you own – you don’t! Here is a list of do’s and don’t’s when packing for your year at UEA.


 * Bring basics. From your favourite jeans, to a comfy hoodie, to that top you always throw on when you can’t find anything else to wear, you’ll thank yourself for bringing these easy, familiar items of clothing when you’re rushing to that 9am!

* Bring sports/gym clothes. You might not initially be feeling up to doing anything active at uni but you may change your mind after visiting the sports fair, and it’s always good to be prepared.

* Only bring clothes/shoes that you have worn in the past six months. If you bring things you can’t even remember buying, chances are they won’t come out of the wardrobe, which means transporting unnecessary items to and from home.

* Remember that you won’t be living in the middle of nowhere – Norwich has a great variety of shops, so you can always pop into the city to buy something you may have forgotten to bring with you.


* Bring your entire wardrobe! You will just forget what you have and will end up wearing about a third of what you bring.

* Bring your nicest, most expensive shoes. It’s unlikely that you’ll get the opportunity to wear them, so keep them at home for special occasions.

* Bring all your winter coats. Remember that you’re starting the uni year in autumn, and so it may not get cold for a while! They will simply take up space in your wardrobe that you might need for other things.

* Bring clothing that requires a lot of care – for example, if something creases very easily or needs to be dry-cleaned, you may not ever wear it due to the effort of maintaining its quality.

Image from Flickr

Tips for Travel Around Europe

by Emily Vause


Interrailing for a month around Europe was one of the best decisions of my life but there was a lot I didn’t expect, don’t be caught off guard like I was!

1. The Language Barrier May Get Tougher

Yes, this one seems obvious but the surprising part is that you don’t actually have to do anything to earn this dislike. No, you probably didn’t accidentally offend them by walking into their shop or saying the wrong thing – they just don’t like you and that’s how it is. We were puzzled too but when you get to the third shop in which the cashier who could speak English five minutes ago now can’t when it gets to your turn. After talking to other travellers in our various hostels we discovered that this, in fact, happens to most, though especially the English speakers. The reason why is a mystery but don’t be caught off guard.

2. Avoid People With Clipboards

These people are clever so beware. They will amble over to you looking all lost and worried so when they ask if you speak English you will, of course, say yes ready to help a tourist who is just that bit more lost than you are. However, that is when they whip out the clipboard. Will you help the deaf/blind children? Will you sign against drugs? Perhaps you will sign to keep your favourite beer in production? It is a scam. You will find them all over France, Italy and Germany so please beware, they are the most persistent con artists we came across. Strategies for avoiding them include walking past, pretending you don’t speak English and speaking in other languages (this one was particularly fun for us). Don’t feel bad about ignoring them, the charities are not real.

3. Train Journeys are Unpredictable

They’re still better than British trains but European trains still have their faults. Most of the time they run fine but occasionally they will be late so beware when booking changes very close to the arrival times. A few of our ten-minute slots between trains turned out to be a bit risky after delays in other parts of the journeys so always be cautious. Also, always have your ticket ready to be checked on the train. Maybe it won’t be checked for many journeys but don’t be caught out by jumping on without a ticket, the fines for having no or the wrong ticket are hefty!

4. Make Friends!

The best place to make friends abroad is in the hostels if that’s where you’re staying. The thought of sharing a room with 4-10 strangers can be daunting but more often than not it turns out to be a good opportunity for meeting new people, fun conversations and learning what people from other countries think of your country. A tip – don’t mention the referendum if you have somewhere to be soon. Of course, you will have your share of infuriating roommates who will keep you up until five when you have to be up for six (true story) or those who refuse to let you shut the window despite constant sirens outside (also true) but don’t let that stop you. Hostels are cheap and often very fun places to be.

5. Eat Out!!

Perhaps one of the best parts of our trip was all the different foods we got to experience while away. I can confirm that European restaurants are much better than ours. Sometimes it might look like some of the foods are a bit too weird – fried cheese and rice for example in Budapest – but it is all delicious. Just eating sandwiches in your hostel is not half as fun as having Indian food in Berlin in a restaurant with belly dancers and fountains.

If travel is part of your grand life-plan make sure it’s not one you forget about – it’s so worth it.

(photo courtesy of Joshua Earle, at https://unsplash.com/@joshuaearle)

Results day – What’s Next?

By Lewis Martin

Woo! Its results day and all those weeks of anxiety over how well you’ve done are now over. Now it’s time to look forward to the future and that future is UEA.

It is understandable that you may be anxious about what the future holds for you in the build up to your arrival, or just about what’s happening if you didn’t get the grades you expected. Well, this article will help guide you through what to do.

First things first, don’t be scared of clearing or contacting the university. If you haven’t got the grades that you wanted or needed, then don’t panic. Clearing can be your best friend in terms of getting into a university place either at UEA or at another university that may have places on the course you wanted or a similar one. Also don’t be afraid to contact the university if you have any worries about the grades or the course that you’re going into. they will be willing to help you in the build up to the start of the academic year and get your school to answer any questions that you may have before you arrive.

Don’t be scared if you’re offered something different from what you applied for. Although its rare, if you didn’t get the grades for the course you wanted some of the schools do have access to what is called a Foundation Year. Having studied one in the last year it is a perfect way to learn a huge cross section of disciplines within the Arts and Humanities as well as adjusting you to university life in a social and academic sense. It will also allow you to see what each area of each school teaches and might even convince you to change your course (I changed from History to Politics and International Relations) after having studied the range of topics and subjects that are open to you.

When you know you’re coming to UEA, join the group pages and chats for your course and flat mates. Every single subject and school will have a group page and probably an unofficial group chat made. These are the best places to meet the people you’re going to be sharing the next 3/4 years with on your course and also make friends early on. These can be found by either posting what course you’re doing on the main fresher’s page, or something less intimidating is to have a search through the posts posted on it and then just leave a comment on it. you can repeat the above for your housing.

Editors note:

Whatever happens on results day, remember that you always have plenty of options. If you’re coming to UEA that’s brilliant and you’re going to have an incredible time, if you missed out on the grades, it’s always worth calling the university and discussing your options. Good luck!

8 Reasons to keep Apple Cider Vinegar in your cupboard

By Alyssa Ollivier-Tabukashvili

So you’re thinking about staple items for your home. Maybe apple cider vinegar (ACV) comes to mind or maybe it doesn’t. but when you’re buying cleaning products, shampoos, maybe health supplements, surely you’d like a 3 (or 8) in 1? Here is a great list of just some of the uses of ACV for day to day to usage.

First of all, remember not to consume this without diluting it as the acidity may burn your throat, so mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar with a cup of water. You can buy it organic for £1.60 at Sainsbury’s and can also use it in foods such as salad dressings, soups, or as a replacement for lemon or for eggs in baking.

Increases the benefits of your vitamins and minerals: if your stomach is not producing enough acid, it cannot absorb all of the nutrients. With the help of the ACV, you’ll be benefiting even more from your consumption of fruits and salads.

Fuels intense exercise: acetic acid helps your muscles turn carbs into energy, so for the athletes and sports-people, consume it before the night-before carb load.

It can kill many types of bacteria: ACV has been used as a preservative, as it prevents bacteria, such as e.coli, from growing in the food. Cleaning fruits and veg with a small amount of the diluted substance and then rinsing it off is a sure way of having clean fruit and potentially prolonging its life (without the acidic taste).

Lowers blood sugar levels and in turn, helps fight diabetes. (Blood sugar levels should be kept stable regardless). Before bed, it can help reduce fasting blood sugars by 4%.

Healthy hair and skin: Mix ½ tbsp. of the vinegar with a cup of cold water in a bottle and use as a rinse after shampooing several times a week to get a healthy hair shine. Alternatively, dab on your face with a cotton ball to act as a toner, as it will help regulate the pH of your skin. (This may not work for all skin types, and the acidity may aggravate the skin instead of helping – especially if it’s not diluted enough).

House cleaning: To clean those pesky student kitchens, mix ½ cup vinegar with a cup of water and use to clean surfaces, windows, microwaves and glasses. (Distilled vinegar is also highly recommendable).

Softens the energy crash: Apple cider vinegar may alleviate the sudden crash from carbohydrates and sugars by slowing the rush of sugar to the bloodstream.

Clear your blocked nose: Apple cider vinegar contains vitamins B1, A and E, along with minerals Potassium and Magnesium which work to thin the mucus and clear your sinuses. This is especially helpful before bed when the cold is keeping you up.

For more information, check out:






Editors note: People can react differently to different food products and some may experience allergic reactions. All health advice given in The Broad is intended in good faith and is to be taken at the readers discretion.

Image from Unsplash, by Ashim D’Silva

Rise up against Fee Rises

Rise up against fee rises – why the new fee increases are worse than 2010’s

July 29, 2016

In 2010 the Coalition Government of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats raised tuition fees from £3000 a year to £9000 a year. This was the first time that fees had been raised since 1997, when the Labour government introduced fees for the very first time in England and Wales. This increase was met with a huge reaction which led to massive protests on the streets of London. However, this hasn’t been the only rise in tuition fees since the coming of successive Conservative governments.

It was announced on the last day of Parliament that tuitions fees will be allowed to rise to £9,250 per year as of 2017. Despite this being a relatively small rise compared to the 2010 rise, it has a more significant effect upon the overall landscape of fees and sets a precedent for the future.

Casting our minds back to 2010, the fee rise did have an economic argument behind it. This was mainly that no rises for 13 years previously had led to a black hole the government was funding and with the ‘need for austerity’ the funding should be covered by the student as opposed to government money. This was George Osborne’s argument when it was passed in parliament and is still the one believed by those who supported the rise.

Now, comparing it to the current rise, there has been no argument put forward by the Chancellor, Higher Education Secretary (Jo Johnson, the seemingly normal brother of Boris) or even the new Prime Minister Theresa May. What happened is that the legislation snuck through parliament unnoticed by a majority of people and was then announced on the last day when a majority of journalists had gone on holiday and the PM was away smooth talking the EU in an attempt to pick up the best deal for the UK after Brexit.

This shows that the recent rise is nothing but a money grab by the current government. It doesn’t fall in line with inflation. it was allowed due to a loophole in the contracts we all signed in order for us to be able to go get our loans.

It also has set a precedent in allowing for the current system to be exploited and the fees to continually rise without a parliamentary debate or even consultation. We have no certainty on what our fees will be and even when the rises will stop. The only thing is for certain is that this will not be the end of the issue.

I ask that if you want to fight this you not only join me and many other students in fighting the current government via protests that will no doubt be happening in Autumn with the help of the SU, but also consider joining various societies that will also be battling the rise, such as the Free Education Soc, Young Greens and UEA Labour in order to get your voice heard and get the change that is so desperately needed in our Higher Education system.

How To Boost Your CV Over Summer

by Natalie Froome


1. Summer jobs

Alongside earning some cash for the summer and perhaps even saving for the next term, it also shows a potential graduate employer that you’ve got a good work ethic. Even if it’s a mundane or menial job that has nothing to do with your future plans, it lets them know you’re willing to get up each day and work hard. Any summer job will broaden your experiences and look good on a CV. Places that often recruit over summer include: summer camps, retailers, festivals and tourist attractions. The UEA MyCareerCentral site advertises summer jobs and is a good place to start.

2. Free courses

From animation to military ethics, Spanish to coding, sustainable fashion to film production, anatomy to finance, FutureLearn.com has literally hundreds of free online courses. Many of these are taught by leading universities (including several run by UEA) and are great for learning something new or building on the subject knowledge you already have. The courses taught by videos, articles and some include short multiple-choice tests. You can put them on your CV when you’re done, but if an employer ever requires you to prove you took the course (which they probably won’t) you can purchase a certificate of participation for around £30 from the site.

3. Volunteering

If you’ve got time on your hands, why not use it for some good? Check out local charity shops, homeless organisations and animal rescues. It’s more likely than not they’ll be happy for you to spend some time helping out. If you haven’t got that much time, or don’t want to commit to regular volunteering then you could try looking for events volunteering opportunities. Loads of charity races happen in the summer and require help marshalling, setting up and it usually only involves giving up a day of your time.

4. Learn a language

In a more global world, language skills can really help you stand out. There are lots of options, but one of the most popular is an online site called Duolingo. It’s completely free, easy to use, has 27 different languages on offer and contains a social aspect where you can add friends.

(photo courtesy of Nick Karvounis at https://unsplash.com/@nickkarvounis)

Brexit; the reality for EU students

The morning the result of the EU referendum was announced, 48% of voters woke up in utter shock – shock at the dropping pound, dropping pension funds, consequences quickly disowned by the Vote Leave campaigners.

Although everyone in Britain is affected by this, certain groups of people weren’t even allowed to participate in the vote in spite of the democracy we claim to be. Even the ones who will be affected the most by the vote, such as the EU migrants.

Since the initial announcement of the result, hate crimes have spiked. Abuse targeted at both EU migrants and non-white British citizens has been calculated to be nearly 57% higher than average.

Incidents such as posting hateful leaflets bearing slogans such as: ‘Leave the EU, No more Polish Vermin’ through letterboxes in Huntingdon, men chanting ‘OUT, OUT, OUT’ at Muslim women in Brockley, have become a new and frankly terrifying, daily routine.

In light of the economic turmoil brought upon Britain by provincial rage, everyone is already suffering. Arts funding already stands as low as it can be with consecutive cuts from the Tory government, but once EU funding is removed, it might vanish completely. Removing free movement of labour and services will also see the scientific progress fall due to the inability to easily communicate between UK scientists and Europe.

Uncertainty following EU nationals’ migrant status also hits universities. Many worry whether they will be able to do that Master’s degree without paying twice the yearly tuition fee out of their pocket, or whether their families can still stay in the country until pension age without repercussions. This anxiety has been widely felt through social media, although it has been quickly shot down by keyboard warriors with slightly too much time on their hands.

Thankfully, UEA’s Vice-Chancellor, David Richardson has eased the minds of current and prospective UEA students, stating that before the end of the Brexit negotiations there will be no change to the status of EU students who plan to/already attend the university. Until then, there will also be no change to the way Student Finance works, which means it’s still possible to take out loans for the years they will be attending.

However, despite many claims that Brexit is not a result of racist sentiments, as an immigrant I have been made to feel unsafe within the community I, just like many others, made my home. Although it’s clear that many left wing Leave voters had peaceful reasons for their vote, they have simultaneously promoted the far right, racist sentiments and legitimised the hate acts that have been happening all around the country.

This vote stopped being an ideological, detached argument when people are scared to speak their language on the streets in fear of being attacked. For the moment, all they can do is hope that the majority stops seeing them as the enemy.

Image: “Brexit” by Mick Baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0

5 Ways To Reduce Stress This Exam Season

by Natalie Froome


Exam season is upon us, which means only one thing: stress levels go through the roof. The library is constantly packed, filled with seat-hoggers and silent-floor-talkers. Many students struggle in these times, so along with knowing that you’re not alone, here are some tips to combat exam stress:


If you’re revising 24/7 most of the information you’re reading won’t be going into your brain. Chunk up your revision and break it down by topic, taking regular breaks in-between sections. This will make it seem far more manageable.


Those breaks we were just talking about? Don’t just go on to Netflix or browse Facebook for half an hour – get up and get walking. The lake takes around 30 mins-1hr to walk around and the scenery and nature you’ll see on the way is a great way to let your mind wander and relax. Exercising releases feel-good chemicals and can help burn off the extra calories from all those revision snacks.


It’s so easy to eat crap in exam season. Ready meals, rustlers and pot noodles seem to be so much more tempting when you’re running short on time. Eating badly, however, will make you feel bad. Grease and fat are not conducive to heavy brain-work and can make you feel sluggish. Sugar can also give you highs and lows, leading to mood swings and a lack of focus. Take mums advice and eat your vegetables, making sure you get three balanced meals a day. Hydration is also really important for concentration, particularly if the weather is hot.


Don’t shut yourself away. Humans are social by nature; we need to interact. If you’ve got a lot to revise it can be tempting to live glued to your laptop or notebooks, emerging only for toilet breaks and the odd bit of sleep. This isolation will make you feel like crap. 0/10 do not recommend. Talking to people face-to-face and meeting for shared revision breaks with friends can be a great mood-booster.


Keeping in touch with your friends is so important, but make sure they don’t affect how you feel about your own chances. There will always be those people who boast about revising 10 hrs a day, or the snakes who claim to have done nothing then show up to the exam with a wedge of colour coded notes. Ignore these people! They’re probably feeling just as anxious as you. Comparing yourself to others is never helpful and neither is competing. Focus on what you’re doing.

If the stress of exams is getting too much and affecting your everyday life, then it may be worth seeing your academic advisor for help. The learning support team at the Dean of Students are also a resource that can be used. They have loads of useful information sheets on time management and referencing (for example.) Whatever you do, just remember, you’re not on your own.

(photo courtesy of Léa Dubedout at https://unsplash.com/@leadbt)