Agony Aunt: Minerva Answers All Your Questions (n°2)

As we enter exam season, tensions are rising, and stress levels are at an all-time high. Why not put your work away for 10 minutes and indulge yourself in my advice? Grab a cuppa, chill out, and perhaps you might learn a helpful thing or two… 

I’ve been with my partner since before university and while I love them, I’m just not sure that I want to be with them anymore. What should I do?

Life changes so much when you come to university, and you continue to learn about yourself and evolve with these changes. It’s likely that you are an entirely different person than when you first got together. In the time that you’ve been in this relationship, you’ve moved to Bath, built a life here, and are learning so much about yourself, who you are and where you fit into this world. Whether your partner came with you to university or whether they’re doing their own thing, this process of growing up and learning can be really difficult when you are in a relationship. But it’s a process that you deserve to throw yourself into, and you deserve to focus on yourself and your own wants and needs. Similarly, your partner deserves someone who is fully committed to the relationship, if you can’t be that then perhaps it isn’t fair to stay with them. 

I suggest sitting down with them and being totally honest with them about what it is that you really want. If you really love them, treat them with respect. 

What are the best ways to relax during exams? I always feel guilty when I’m not working. 

If you’re working hard, you deserve a break! Guilt isn’t going to help you unwind from a stressful day of using your brain. At the end of the day, working all the time and never letting yourself wind down is a recipe for burnout. It’s so important to look after yourself when you’re stressed… take it from me, the *highest* of authorities on the subject. Move your body: take an exercise class, go for a run or a long stroll, maybe even just a walk to the shops. Feed yourself properly: go out for dinner, buy yourself something nice to cook, whatever means that you have the energy to keep going! Socialise, even if it’s just a 20 minute cup of tea at a mate’s, this is really not going to be the difference between a first class and a fail. You deserve it babes! x

I have so many deadlines due this month, and I am really struggling, I have no motivation and am at a block. What should I do?

First things first: just sit down and get some words in a document.

I know that doesn’t seem terribly helpful but let me moonlight as your mother at this moment as opposed to your ‘aunt’. Your degree isn’t going to do itself and believe me writing essays and doing revision little by little instead of last-minute cramming is SO. MUCH. EASIER. Even if you only do 50 words right now, or watch 10 minutes of a lecture, that’s better than nothing! In my opinion, one of the hardest things is starting, but you are more than capable. You’ve made it this far! Keep going. 

So, get your arse comfortable and whip out your laptop. No, you do not need to deep clean your shower drain right now, or whatever your favourite procrastination technique is. Just review one relevant lecture right now, in 20-minute chunks if you have to. I once saw that procrastination is a fear of the negative emotions that you go through when doing your work. You and I both know that those emotions are so much worse when you leave your work to the last minute or feel unprepared for an exam. You know what to do, keep going, you can win. 

And on that note, time to close this tab and head back to Moodle! 

Good luck and love to you all,

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