How I cope with assignment deadlines

Mon 15 May, 2023
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Assignment deadlines and exams can sometimes make students – like myself – feel worried and anxious. But don’t fret as this is totally normal!

Student blogger and first year Journalism Student, Amia Clarke, shares her experience of dealing with assignment deadlines and her three top tips to take away.

Feeling worried and anxious about your assignments and deadlines is completely normal. Throughout my GCSE years, I revised like there was no tomorrow and I barely spent any time doing things I actually enjoyed.

Approaching A-Levels was similar, but I got to the point where I figured that losing sleep and happiness was not worth it and over-stressing was not helping at all. My parents constantly told me: “All you can do is what you can manage. The rest will fall into place.” And they were right! Sitting in the exam room was only a fraction of the long, exhilarating life ahead of me and so I began to lessen the pressure I was putting on myself.

When people work themselves up about exams or deadlines, they can either become over-anxious or want to revise non-stop, or the anxiety can push them to do the exact opposite and procrastinate instead. I believe that the most important thing during these times is balance. It’s not profitable to spend hours on end revising. That way, there’s no information actually going in after a while, so breaks are important and spreading out that intake of information is incredibly important for our wellbeing.

So give your mind rest! Yes, remain focused on what you need to do but don’t completely lose sight of yourself. Taking regular breaks in-between revision sessions will help cement that knowledge, and reassure your mind that it’s not the end of the world.

So far in my studies at university, I have personally found deadlines quite tricky. Somehow, I look at the due date weeks before, believing that I’ve got plenty of time to do it. Then before I know it, the due date turns out to be a week away! So being organised is another key thing to help reduce stress around revision and deadlines. I’ve learnt not to sit back and feel like I’ve got all the time in the world; just do the assignment when you can and it’ll make you feel so much better. Not only will you minimise your stress, but you’ll give yourself enough room to make mistakes and alter the end product.

For example, I had a video assignment due and I gave myself two weeks to complete it. What I originally produced ended up completely backfiring, but luckily (because I had been organised and gave myself two weeks), I had enough time to re-record and edit my plan B. Planning ahead is really important so I’d recommend popping your deadlines (and the time you’ll need to do the work/revise) into your calendars on your phone and set up reminders, so you can keep track easily.

So, my three key tips to take out of this blog are:

  1. Don’t stress yourself out too much! Assignments and exams are NOT the end of the world. It’s only momentary, so try not to think irrationally. Life goes back to normal right after.
  2. Take breaks! There must be a balance between work and play. Too much revision isn’t beneficial, and nor is too much leisure. Pace yourself.
  3. Be organised. Don’t overestimate how much time you think you have. Give yourself enough room to complete your assignment with time to spare, just in case.

Amia Clarke

First Year Journalism Student

Hello to whoever is reading this! My name is Amia Clarke and I’m currently in my first year of studying Journalism. As you can probably guess, I enjoy writing and reading. But I’m not that boring; I took up rollerskating during Lockdown and now that I’m semi-decent at it, I do enjoy that in my spare time. I’m aiming to become an Investigative Journalist in the future, so look out for me all over your screens :)

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