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I only had one week to revise this holiday. Here’s how I survived.

By Vidya Ramesh

Wednesday 12 April 2017 Student journalists

According to the latest report by The Economist, new data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study, which has tracked the ups and downs of 40,000 households since 2009, suggests that the Easter holidays are “the most miserable time of the year” for English schoolchildren.

Bereft of contact with their peers and the playground, the only thing left to console these children in the lead-up to their GCSEs and A-levels are Easter eggs from the friendly old lady next door.

Now at university, the mere existence of an Easter vacation seems to elude me, notwithstanding the words “Good Friday”, “Easter Sunday” and “Easter Monday” being marked out in the calendar.

Once in higher education, we have the opportunity to opt for continuous rent at our halls of residence, or cheekily extend the leases at our privately-rented student accommodation. The distractions of working at home amid the cacophony of family dinners, arguments and even the Friday night takeaways in front of the TV, are easier to avoid than ever.

My best friend is moving back to university on Easter Sunday, and I will be joining her the next day, squeezing in that last bit of pre-exam revision.

But these next few days are also crucial. With last week spent fundraising on a part-time student job, and taking part in a sporting competition, it is only now that I have had the chance to look at all my work from this academic year. The dilemma now is how to tear into it without compromising “quality time” spent at home.

Working in coffee shops with my brother has been one way I have gotten around this, with awareness of being in a public space restraining both our urges to snap at each other as most siblings who spend extended periods of time together often do. Taking my mother around the old libraries in Manchester, and spending a couple of hours in the reading room while she looks through the exhibition rooms, has been another way to go. The word “compromise” has now attached itself to comfortable connotations in my mind, as opposed to ones of guilt.

Ultimately, your loved ones will prize your happiness and state of mind over academic achievement. My personal realisation of this has allowed me to understand why so many distractions and enticements away from the act of revision have been thrown under my nose this week. It is only by explaining that keeping track of your work, and not getting “snowed-under” in itself makes a beneficial contribution to your mental health, that both parties can be on the same page of the textbook. 

Hi there, my name is Vidya and I’m an undergraduate student reading History at the University of Cambridge. I grew up in Manchester, the birthplace of the Guardian and Suffragette movement; it was impossible not be continually aware of the power of activism, solidarity, and liberal politics. On campus I try to channel these incredibly charged ideas into practical action, particularly in regards to the welfare of students who identify as women. As a director for a student-run think-tank, The Wilberforce Society, I have overseen events on raising the participation of women in public policy, while also co-authoring a policy paper on sexual assault policies within higher education institutions. As a campaign manager for my University’s Women’s Campaign I am also organising a programme of activities to help female students tackle anxiety. In my spare time I enjoy powerlifting (still at a novice level, sadly), as well as living ethically to the best of my ability, such as by following a vegan lifestyle (#vegangainz). As an NUS Journalist I hope to raise awareness of the events taking place on campus that centre around the three concepts I mentioned before: activism, solidarity, and liberal politics. Whether in the form of an intersectional feminist reading group, to a disabilities rally outside the students’ union, you will be sure to hear it hot-off-the-press from me!