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How to keep productive during exam season whilst on ‘holiday’

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

With the looming exam season and an ever-growing to-do list, motivation can be hard to muster — especially whilst on holiday. Retaining productivity during this time is daunting, yet there are many ways in which to take a well-earned break from the busy semester while still keeping on top of assignments and revision. Whether you’re jetting off home or abroad for revision week, or you’re staying in St Andrews, reinforcing the cliché of work-life balance will make this period much more manageable. 

Two weeks without classes is an exciting opportunity to spend a few days outside of the “bubble”. Whether it’s with family or friends, it’s doubtful you can afford to spend an entire week without studying. This is where you can plan ahead and factor in time to work into your journey and perhaps you can finally put those layovers to good use! The other option — though much less favourable, even to me — is to wake up earlier than everyone else and tick some things off the list. You’ll have a much more enjoyable time and the guilt will be eased whilst you spend some time away from the main library. 

If you’re on a trip away, some sort of schedule could keep things in order. If you know your itinerary in advance, utilise this to figure out when you can fit in study sessions. There’s no need to make this dull! Find a cute study café or have group revision sessions in your accommodation. With so many ways to incorporate studying into the trip, you can still keep up with work and enjoy relaxing in a new place. 

If you’re staying at uni, however tempting it may be, please don’t move into the library. Setting aside blocks of time to spend there, or in any other study spaces, will make you 100% more productive, and involve much less TikTok — trust me. What’s more, with spring on our doorsteps, taking advantage of the gorgeous landscape of St Andrews and its surroundings has never been easier or more important. Whether it’s a daily walk on West Sands or a day off to go to Crail, factoring this in will not only improve your wellbeing, but also your grades. Have a ‘holiday’ at uni, so that you can give the exams your full attention.

Everyone has a different way of revising, but wherever you are, you can work in the way which works best for you. Whether it’s a strict timetable or working with friends abroad, the most important thing is to be making progress so that you’re not stressing at the last minute about the exams.

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Tilly Frain-Bell

St. Andrews '26

Hi! My name is Tilly and I am a second year student at the University of St Andrews studying French and International relations. During my spare time, I love going to the beach, playing lacrosse and sailing. I am excited to be a part of Her Campus and to expand my experience in the journalistic field.