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What to do when things go Wrong at Exam Time

Woman with headache

So the worst has happened. Your dog has died, your partner has deserted you, or your employer has decided that your services are no longer necessary. Sound familiar?

I don’t know if it’s just me, but something disastrous has occurred just before every SWOTVAC period since I started university. Maybe it’s merely bad luck, or perhaps someone has a voodoo doll of me in a cupboard somewhere. But the good news is that it’s still possible to get through your exams, and even succeed in your studies, with a few easy steps.

Take your time

No one has the amazing superpowers required to emotionally cope with trauma one minute, and then be learning the inane details of the Corporations Act the next. Allow some time to grieve, to sort your life out, and be ready to attack your studies with a clear head once more.

Lean on your friends

While law students are known for their competitive streak, that doesn’t mean your friends can’t and won’t support you when you’re in need. Don’t stress if you didn’t make it to your final tutorial, or missed that unrecorded lecture on Friday at 5pm; ask your law school friends to help you out.

Take small steps

When you’re ready to start studying again, you probably won’t be feeling up to a Red Bull-fuelled all-nighter. Understand that you might not be able to concentrate for hours at a time, and use this to your advantage. Half-hour bursts of productive study are much more worthwhile than two hours of staring at the person wearing pyjamas in the law library.

Spend time doing things you love

As with any study period, remember to take some time out to relax. Go to the beach in the evening, or go outside to have your morning coffee and sit at the café and watch the world go by. Your body will thank you for the break, and you’ll be mentally ready to attack the books sooner.

See your university’s counselling service

If you’re really feeling the pump, check out your university’s support services. They do an amazing job and can give tips on getting extensions, as well as helping you through a difficult period.

Good luck!

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