This Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve compiled our top tips to help Chevening Scholars stay positive throughout assessment season.

With exams in full swing and dissertation deadlines looming, it can be a stressful time of year for many Chevening Scholars.

As we enter the sunny summer months, and finally the promise of warmer weather, it can also be difficult to remain focussed.

But studying doesn’t have to be a chore.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, we’re sharing our top tips to help you stay positive throughout the assessment period.

1. Create a calming study environment

""It’s something that’s often overlooked, but creating a calming study space will help to improve your mindset and keep you focussed. Why not find a nice photo frame or pick some fresh flowers for your desk like current Chevening Scholar Keta Goletiani.

Whatever you do, try to keep your desk (and desktop) tidy, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. There’s nothing worse than having a mountain of books (or files) looming over you.

If you work in your bedroom, it’s also a good idea to find a way to differentiate study time from your free time. This could be as simple as packing away your laptop and stationery each time you finish a study session, so you’re not tempted to keep chipping away at it when you should be taking a break.


2. Surround yourself with positive energy

When it comes to studying, everyone has a different preference. Some like to get lost in a spotify playlist and keep their head down. Others like to gather a group of classmates and tackle it together.

Wherever you derive your energy from, make sure you surround yourself with it.

If you’re studying with others, why not schedule in some time to get away from the library and have a nice lunch or coffee break outside? Having something to look forward to will help to keep your spirits up.

You might also like to take some time out to relax and refocus your energy.

‘Meditation helps me maintain mindfulness and clarity’ – Luis Felipe Molina, Chevening Scholar at Goldsmiths, University of London.


3. Set realistic goals

When you have a big assignment or exam to study for, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why it’s important to break the project up into smaller, more manageable goals.

Many people find that the best way to do this is to start with the due date and work backwards from there. That way you know you’ll know exactly how much time you have.

Be realistic with your time though. If you think it will take you an hour to read a chapter, give yourself a 15-minute buffer, so you don’t start to stress.


4. Celebrate the small stuff

No matter how busy you get, make sure you find time for breaks and rewards!

To keep you motivated, and to ensure you don’t burn out, you should reward yourself with things you enjoy. This could be as simple as allowing yourself to watch an episode of TV after writing a certain number of words or allowing yourself to go on a picnic with friends after reading a certain number of chapters.

‘When I need a break from studying, I like to go outside to enjoy the sunshine, go for a walk, or enjoy my favourite food. It really changes your mood!’ – Jesús Ramírez Grajales, Chevening Scholar at the University of Warwick.


5. Remember why you’re here

You were chosen for Chevening because of your desire to progress your career and affect positive change. How will acquiring your master’s degree help you get there?

Remind yourself of this if you’re ever feeling down.

It will all be worth it in the end.

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