Getting back on track

If you are anything like me (and a good proportion of the British population) you will have a cold, had one or been fighting one off for the last couple of months.

Yes, it is that time of year when our bodies seem to give up on being healthy, along with the sun and its shining responsibilities.

The beginning of year can be a bit of dreary time; Christmas is over, all the lights have been taken down and there isn’t another proper holiday to look forward to for…, well, ages anyway. And that’s before you’ve even considered the fact that a gruelling set of exams is yet to come. Still, before you get too depressed about what’s to come, it is important to remember that there are a few practical steps you can take to cheer yourself up at this time of year and ensure you are prepared for the immediate future. Use the next couple of weeks to take stock and put into place some of the

following measures, which will support you all the way through until summer.

Take measures

• Revisit those resolutions. Okay, most new year’s resolutions are made to be broken but if you are one of those people who uses the start of a year to detail what they hope to achieve but then abandons these goals within a few weeks, maybe it’s time to take a few steps backwards. Think about what your resolutions were, why you chose them and what your life would be like now if you had stuck to them. It may be that you decided to make a revision timetable and stick to it, but instead have found yourself putting all thoughts of exams to one side and are due to panic any second now. Don’t beat yourself up about it, but think about getting back on track now – I guarantee you’ll feel better for it.

• Stay healthy. Easier said than done when you spend hours cooped up in lecture halls with other students spreading germs, and that’s before you’ve even thought about the number of patients who visit you with various ailments. However, it is incredibly important to try to stay healthy during term time. While it may seem like the weeks drag on, in the non-student world term-time is relatively short and it is vital you maximise the time you have at university. And how do you keep germs at bay? It’s a case of avoiding burning the candle at both ends – so eat well, get plenty of sleep and minimise the big nights.

• Repeat after me: Exercise is good for you. Granted not everybody is naturally sporty but whatever your preferred method of exercising, including a little into your weekly routine is a good idea. It keeps you fit, helps you to meet people and is a good stress reliever from the everyday grind of a dental degree. Consider all of the different options from team sports like hockey to solitary sessions at the gym or extreme sporting weekends away – there really is a wealth of options and plenty of university sporting societies to support them.

• Get into a pattern. Working regular hours and getting up and going to bed at the same time can be the key to success at university. There are those people that are positive they only do their best work at night unfortunately this kind of studying is a recipe for disaster. Yes, you may have had the luxury of a weekend lie-in but starting work later in the day when your mind’s not fresh, will only take longer and may not be as effective.

• Make new friends. Sure you already have a close-knit group of friends that you like fine thank you very much, but have you considered that by sticking with the same people you could be missing out on a huge part of what university is about? One of the key things of studying in this environment is that you get to meet a range of different people from different backgrounds who have varying opinions. Making an effort halfway through your university life to reach outside of your comfort zone and meet new people can be very beneficial and ensures that you continue to get the most from your experience.

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