When I look back at my Hilary term last year, it was nothing short of dull. The excitement of freshers’ week had long since dissipated, aside from one glorious bout of snowfall in February, the weather remained damp at best and Arctic at worst, whilst my idealistic Michaelmas expectations of being enlightened by the written word were replaced by the realisation of the drudgery that is an Oxford English Literature reading list. I have a poor track record with New Years’ Resolutions and I am certainly no advocate of them. However I have ruthlessly stalked the internet, to gain a few bits of advice in order to help tackle the stress, exams, essays, collections, rainy days and dark nights, that Hilary term will inevitably bring. With this in mind, I wanted to share what I felt were the most useful tips to a busy Oxford Student:
- Start your day with a Feel Good playlist: hundreds of studies have proven the soothing and therapeutic effect of music on the mood, and certainly pounding out the S Club 7 tunes on your way to that 9am lecture is bound to give you those Park End Cheese floor vibes in no time.
- Laugh Often and Always: urban legend has it that the average child laughs 300 times a day, whether this is even feasible or true is still up for scientific debate. But the fact of the matter is, in the serious and at times stifling academic bubble that is Oxford, we could all do with learning from our younger counterparts. Whether you find humour in memes, Instagram accounts such as @kanyedoingthings (a personal favourite of mine), silly YouTube videos or old reruns of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, laughing loudly and often on a daily basis is a sure fire way to lift your mood.
- Plan a Genuine Netflix and Chill: all sexual connotations aside, planning a meal in with friends, a movie night, an evening of sketching, will provide some much needed motivation when the sun has gone down and library slump hits at 4.30pm.
- Sleep your way to Success: whilst the temptation to stock up on a toxic mix of energy drinks and coffee in order to get through a ‘stressay’ is tempting, lack of sleep has been proven to increase weight gain, stress and reduce creativity and decision making ability. However, Dr Mednick writer of the book ‘Take a Nap! Change your life’ advocates a 20 minute power nap during the day in order to increase concentration and alertness and most importantly elevate one’s mood.