Exams are almost over. You’re starting to see the light at the end of the exam-hall tunnel. And when you’ve left that exam room for the last time, it’s very tempting to jump on the classic “let’s get drunk now #ladsladslads” bandwagon (which will inevitably end with you projectile-vomiting into a bush). But here are some alternative ideas to get you back on the road to recovery.
You know that one student in the class, the one who always gets homework in on time, is probably involved in some kind of advanced program and has been revising consistently throughout the year to make the exam period easier on him/herself?
Statistically, you are not that student. If you are – congratulations! You are more mature and forward thinking than most adults. But for everyone else, unless you’d like to end any post-exam celebrations by falling asleep in public while your friends draw Harry Potter glasses on your face in permanent marker, you’ll probably need to get a reasonable chunk of shut-eye to recover from those all-nighters.
A lot of students tend to find that they aren’t hungry for full meals during the exam period. The default position is to chalk this up to stress, and to totally overlook the fact this it might have a little something to do with their constant grazing on snacks like some kind of junk food-loving goat.
But once revision is over and there’s nothing to distract you from the fact that you’ve only eaten gummy bears for the past month and a half, you’re going to start feeling pretty bad, pretty fast. The best solution to this is to get hold of a hearty, healthy, homemade dish, making sure you get plenty of greens (green gummy bears do not count) and plenty of fruit (gummy fruit, also, does not count).
Get Outside, Get Moving
Months locked inside at a desk revising has probably left you pale and muscle-atrophied, much like those children from The Others. Although you’re one step ahead of them because you’re still alive, you might not be feeling your best, so a little a bit of vitamin D and exercise can do wonders.
You right now
Obviously exchanging your work desk for a treadmill won’t be a very pleasurable way to get your blood flowing, but luckily there are plenty of fun options out there too. You could bring a boom box to a local park and pretend you know Zumba, take the 20 minutes of sun we’ll (maybe) get this year to play volleyball on the beach, or even start Crossfit training (in which case you get the added benefit of jaw exercise when you tell everybody).
Have Some Downtime
We may have mentioned this briefly once or twice, but exams can be stressful. Once loving relationships might take a little strain; parents become taxi drivers and gummy bear providers and sibling interaction is reduced to “GET OUT OF MY ROOM CAN’T YOU SEE I’M REVISING FOR MY IMPORTANT EXAMS”.
Focusing on just exams for such a long time can be isolating, and leave you a little emotionally out of touch. So once you’ve topped up on sleep, food, and exercise, take a bit of time for a relaxing catch up on everything that’s been happening in your family members’ lives while you’ve had your horse blinkers on. (Photo credit: Jean, Flickr)
Now that you (hopefully) feel like a living human being again, it would be a shame not to celebrate all of your hard work (or, more importantly, the fact that it’s now over). For over 18s finishing their A Levels, a group night out may be on the cards, but remember that there are a million ways to have a fun, meaningful celebration that won’t have you waking up with a dry mouth, a pounding head and no recollection of what you actually did last night.
During last year’s post-exam period, Drinkaware warned parents not to encourage their children celebrate exams by consuming alcohol. A survey conducted by the charity indicated that children as young as 14 might drink on average as much as a third of a bottle of vodka at post-exam celebration events. Underage drinking can have a multitude of disastrous effects, from being sent to A&E for alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking, to long-term inhibition of healthy brain development.
Even if you’re already a veteran of generic day-out events like paintballing or go-karting, there are loads of unique activities like Hint Hunt or Go Ape out there too; even a barbecue on the beach, or a big trip to London to see a show are possibilities. Overall, remember that you deserve a reward for your hard work, but you also deserve to stay safe.
Written by Sophie Valentine
A MyTutor Chemistry Tutor