As exams season begins, you're probably not looking forward to the stress, the adrenaline rushes and the occasional minor or major panic attack. How do you keep your cool in the coming weeks? We asked our newly elected alumnus of the year. The man who in recent years has proven never to lose his cool: virologist Steven Van Gucht!
- Create a fixed pattern in your day: make a schedule with enough variety between courses and provide regular moments of relaxation. Both mentally - meet up with your friends and study mates at a fixed time every day to have a good time - and physically: head out into nature for a walk, a bike ride, sports, etc.
- Pull an all-nighter? Not a good idea, sufficient sleep ensures that you process learned information better.
- Use as many senses as possible when cramming teaching materials: read out loud, make songs about the study material, smell your papers, etc. This way your memory makes more connections.
- Break the rut by studying in different rooms or locations.
- Repetition works to store something in your long-term memory. In the first reading, you try to understand, make schemes and summarize the information. The next time, you look mainly at those schemes and summaries. When I was a student, I alternated. First read course A and make schemes, then read course B, afterwards repetition of course A, then repetition of course B ...
- Our memory works by making associations. You can remember difficult words by linking them together to something else you know well or by thinking up word games. Make up a story or image to go with the material: your memory will connect the two together, this makes it is easier to recall the material.
- And something that was not applicable in my time: put that smartphone in a vault far away from your study desk.
Do you suffer from exam stress? Is your study planning not working out? Do you have doubts about your choice of study or are you considering changing programmes? At Ghent University, you are not alone. The university provides an extensive range of study guidance and advice.
Steven Van Gucht is Ghent University alumnus of the year
He has played an incredibly important role in fighting the corona pandemic and makes regular appearances in the media. And on top of that, Steven Van Gucht can now claim the title of the very first ‘Ghent University alumnus of the year’.
Steven Van Gucht: It’s really touching, as I still feel at home at Ghent University. I have so many memories here. I made many friends, met my first love and our son was born here during the final year of my doctorate. So I am genuinely delighted
More info about the celebration and alumni activities infinitum.ugent.be
The European adventure: students on their Erasmus exchange
"Going on Erasmus", who hasn't heard of it? But what is it really like to study in another country? We asked three Ghent University students who are currently abroad, from cold Finland to the Costa del Sol in Spain.
Language study programmes once again on the rise
Good news for language programmes: enrolment records show that, once again, more students are choosing to study languages, literature and culture at Ghent University. After a number of years of declining interest in the subjects, we seem to have passed a turning point.
The silent room: a peaceful haven within busy surroundings
A silent room was set up in the faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences this academic year. As a room with few stimuli you can go there for prayer, mediation or a silent moment. Vice-rector Mieke Van Herreweghe and dean Ann Buysse explain the importance of such a spot.
Long live learning: after all, studying does not stop after your studies
Who knows how your job will look within ten years? More importantly, will your job even exist? In a society that is changing rapidly it is hard to answer such questions. One thing’s for sure: studying does not stop once you have achieved your diploma. For years we were lagging behind in terms of lifelong learning. Fortunately things are now looking more promising.