Anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m notoriously empty-headed. Most of the time, I’m too busy thinking about one thing to even consider the possibility of another – trust me, it’s led to many mistakes and injuries. Around exam season, I always end up stocking up on plasters only to go through half a packet, but I’ve already accepted I’m probably a danger to myself. Although I know I’m bound to make the same mistakes again, hopefully by sharing some of them, we can learn together and prevent further injuries (and maybe Morrisons won’t have to restock their plasters quite so often).

1. Holding knives the wrong way and upside down
I’m not talking about not holding the handle, but having the pointed side of the knife pointing up. Personally, I always put a finger on the knife bit to guide it, and when you’re holding it upside down, this almost always results in accidentally cutting yourself. This happened to me the other day whilst I was cutting up lettuce and that was the first of many times I’ve had to grab a plaster since I’ve been back at Sheffield. I’ve tried to leave all thoughts of studying in my room or in the libraries but sometimes that separation is too hard. My advice here is to always have a first aid kit around, because even if you avoid this problem, you never know when you’re next going to accidentally hurt yourself.

2. Making hot chocolate with cold water
This is the problem I am most prone to repeating and probably the worst. It means either pouring the drink away and making a new cup or trying to use the microwave for it, which I’m sure isn’t good for my cup. Plus, I find the drink never quite gets warm enough in the microwave, and then you’re left with what can only be described as a mess. My advice for this is to always check if the kettle is hot enough first, because you never quite know whether it boiled or not when you’re as distracted as me.

3. Getting your trains mixed up
Probably the stupidest thing that I’ve done this holiday was making my mum drive forty-five minutes to the train station only for her to check the train times and to find out my train wasn’t there. Turns out, it was Saturday and my train was actually on the following day. The clear advice here is to check your trains before you leave, and make sure you’re getting on the right one on the right day.

4. Not checking your exam timetable
This one hasn’t been done by me, but it has happened to a friend who only learnt they had an exam the night before. Bonus points to them for still going, but always check all your subjects, even if you don’t think you have an exam! Nothing’s worse than finding out too late that you have one, and then having no time to revise. Be confident is good, but not when it turns out you were confident you didn’t have an exam and you did.

5. Not looking after yourself
Around exam season, distractedness aside, it is all too easy to rely on a diet of ready meals and cups of tea, but without looking after yourself, you can’t reach your potential. Working all the time is never good, so take an evening off every now and then to reset. Watch a TV show. Cook a nice meal. Do a face mask if you want, but make sure you’re relaxing. You’ll be able to work so much better the next day, and ultimately feel a lot better in the long run. You’ve got this!

Overall, exam season is tough, and saying don’t be distracted and look after yourself can be a lot easier said than done. But if you can get into Sheffield, you can crush these exams. Keep a first aid kit around, sleep enough and eat wel l- you can do this!

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