It’s that time of year again! If you are stressed out and studying on the west coast, Jess Furney, our National University of Ireland Galway Ambassador, has four top tips to help you chill out in the run up to exams…

April and May here are composed of an estimated 45+ days of stressed students camping out in the library and doing everything short of mainlining their tea. I work at the university’s writing centre and we see endless streams of panicked individuals every week, worried about their grades, their writing skills, their ability to succeed in their respective programs. All of us in our postgrad program were feeling the exact same way. It was only after I had eaten roughly eight chocolate muffins in a row (that I’d acquired after a late night sugar-laden shop at Aldis…) that I realised there had to be better ways to de-stress. Relaxation during exam prep and during exam week may seem impossible, but it’s important to recognise that being at ease will help so much in studying and retaining the material.

Four things to do in Galway when you hit a wall studying:

  1. For a bit of calm, head down to the Docks and wander around for a bit. Fantasise about sailing away from your exams and on-handedly manning some gorgeous yacht in the Caribbean far away from the unpredictable Irish spring/summer weather.
  2. Take a walk along the Long Walk. Wake up in time for the sunset or sunrise. It’s hard to be freaked out while watching the skies turn purple. People here seem to really take the effort to slow down; your lunch mates will include many other people, pigeons, seagulls, and the occasional swan or two.
  3. Exercise! The Kingfisher has some inexpensive classes in everything from muay thai martial arts to boxing to swimming, the Student Union offers weekly yoga classes, scale the climbing wall, or go for a jog. Just avoid the Salthill diving platform when the rain is lashing and the waves huge, unlike those kids doing backflips off it last winter!
  4. Some would argue that the mere act of walking to the pub for a quick pint counts! A very common study break here, students take the time to go out as a group to get away from the books for a bit. Good chance you’ll end up talking about coursework, so you’ll even still feel pseudo productive. Remember, regardless of what happens, these weeks will pass, and the exams and papers will get done. Keep your head up. And a Guinness in your hand (for that hour, anyway).

If you are interested in studying in Ireland, visit the Education in Ireland website for more information.