Exams are terrifying, whether they occur in January, April, May or June. The one thing they always have in common is students cramming till the very last second, late night library sessions and a ruined work/life balance.
So hear us out: go to the pub this exam season.
Don’t overdo it, obviously, but make sure you make time for your mates this year. Don’t take your work to the pub either; keeping social and working spaces separate is good for the mind.
It’s important to revise, but cramming in the night before is a notoriously bad strategy. It places unnecessary stress on the brain and actually causes you to forget more information that you retain.
Not to say you should go out and go to the pub the night before any exams and turn up with a banging headache the next day, but maybe taking some time out a couple of days before to hang out with your mates and allow your memories to gestate, without placing too much stress on your own brain.
Staying social is absolutely essential as loneliness can be a massive problem for some university students and doubly so in exam time.
If you find yourself distracted by loneliness that can prevent you studying, taking a trip to the pub to catch up with your friends can be super beneficial.
Oxford University researchers even believe that having a local pub can be linked with improved wellbeing due to social engagement.
Professor Robin Dunbar, from Oxford’s experimental psychology department, told I about the benefits of visiting the pub and drinking in moderation:
“This study showed that frequenting a local pub can directly affect peoples’ social network size and how engaged they are with their local community, which in turn can affect how satisfied they feel in life,
“Our social networks provide us with the single most important buffer against mental and physical illness,
“While pubs traditionally have a role as a place for community socialising, alcohol’s role appears to be in triggering the endorphin system, which promotes social bonding.”
Alcohol increases our brains release of Dopamine, too, which is the body’s way of increasing our happiness levels, though this is also part of the reason that it is easy to become addicted as we rely on this artificial release.
So if this exam season seems like it’s missing something, a visit to the pub may well help with your health and wellbeing – and allow you to get back in to the right mindset to work.
Always remember to drink responsibly, in exam season and outside of it.