How my flatmates got me through exams
I think it’s safe to say this is a universal feeling: exams magnificently suck.
It’s the chaotic flurry of making revision notes, frantically emailing professors with a string of questions, bloodshot eyes late in the evening, staring at the calendar over and over again, and saying “I’m fine” before bursting into tears.
There’s the standard advice about managing exam stress (e.g. give yourself regular breaks, exercise, work smart not hard, etc.), but today, I want to talk about how great it is to have flatmates during tough times at uni.
HAVING SOMEONE TO VENT TO
Firstly, you’re constantly within reach of somebody (literally).
When I’m feeling particularly down it’s so easy for me to just get up, knock on their door, and sprawl over their beds while complaining about how stressful life is at the moment.
Having that vent is crucial, and more importantly, having somebody to listen.
It’s not like we’re all seeking advice from each other all the time, but the act of complaining to each other is, in itself, therapeutic. Apart from that, even the subconscious knowledge that they’re in the flat is reassuring in itself – knowing you’re not alone.
Plus, as you obviously live with each other you can sort of detect when something isn’t right with your flatmate; this is crucial so you can catch them before they spiral into something more serious.
Secondly, having group study sessions is both incredibly useful and feasible.
Living together means better planning, no faff of booking out a library room, or voting on the best times.
I’m actually not a big fan of working in groups because of its inefficiency, but I can honestly say some study sessions I’ve had with my flatmates have been really useful (especially when we need to practice abdominal examinations with our shirts off – definitely not acceptable in the library…).
As a bonus, you can wear PJs during flat study sessions and have all the snacks you love at your disposal.
TAKING TIME OUT TOGETHER
And finally, a sort of continuation from the previous point, we reward ourselves with fun activities:
- a trip to Eat A Pitta (only Bristol kids will know)
- baking something ambitious
- watching “It’s so bad it’s good” type movies
When I lived on my own, I always felt I never deserved a break or time-out, because my expectations for myself were unrealistic; but with flatmates, you’re basically forced to have fun.
I’ve actually found that I've been able to revise more efficiently after ‘time-out’ activities.
Overall, although exams are important, they aren’t the most important thing – we tend to forget that.
I’ve been grateful to have flatmates around me during stressful times, because we have fun together, but most importantly, we take care of each other too.
Liberty Living offer shared flats for friends or individuals looking to live with others. These are available across all 19 UK residences; find your university city and browse rooms in shared flats here.