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How to survive the last sunny exam period 

Date:14 June 2022
Sander and Maimoena enjoying a study break in the sun 
Sander and Maimoena enjoying a study break in the sun 

Let’s get straight to the point: studying while the sun is out can be quite a challenge. People gather together for fun outside activities while you have to hit the books and prepare for your last exams… But I’m here to help you out! Hopefully you’ll get on the right path with these tips, just in time for (already!) the last exam period of the year. 

  • Find the perfect study spot

At the UG, we are very lucky with the many study facilities available for students. The most common one is of course the University Library, across from the Academy building. With no less than 2100 spots on four different floors, there’s plenty of choice to find your perfect study place! However, during the exam periods it can be quite busy as you’re not the only one who has exams. To find the perfect spot, you need a solid plan. The library has good working temperature regulation, but I would avoid the third and fourth floor on a warm and sunny day. Even with the air conditioning system, heat rises to the top of the building. I would recommend a spot near a window on the first or second floor. The temperature will stay pleasant and when the sun shines her rays on you, the automatic sunblinds will come down to keep you in your focus mode. During exam periods, the library opens at 08.30 a.m. Be there on time to work through your plan! 

Had enough of the University Library or are all the spots occupied? Most of the UG faculties offer lots of study spots! One of my favourite places is the Heymans building right next to the Noorderplantsoen, which is perfect for outside study breaks. Besides the different city centre locations, Zernike campus offers a lot of facilities for you to study at as well. This website gives you an overview of all the study facilities, just like this reel. Check them out, make a reservation and try a new location!

  • Don’t spend your breaks inside

Even though the coffee corners are close to your study spot and have all the caffeine you need, I would highly recommend taking your breaks outside. Breathe some fresh air and absorb your daily portion of vitamin D. Go for a walk and put your legs to work as well as your brain does while studying, and come back completely refreshed. About the caffeine: take a cup outside, perhaps with an iced coffee instead of a hot one, enjoy it in the sun and stay hydrated! 

  • Literally make the most of your day

A big advantage of summer days are the long daylight hours. You’ve probably noticed if your curtains don’t black out light properly, the sun comes out quite (read ‘very’) early in the morning. Fun fact: during the longest day of the year (21 June), there are about 16 hours and 45 minutes of daylight! Since nobody is able to study this long during one day, there is plenty of time to enjoy these precious daylight hours :).  Schedule some free time, either in the early morning or late evening, depending if you’re a morning or evening person. I always love to do outside sports in these spare hours, or spend some time with my friends to clear my mind of all the studying. You could also take a longer lunch break outside, to get some distraction and start your afternoon and evening study sessions with some fresh energy. 

  • Stay active 

Keeping your body active is important during long study periods, and what place is better to do this than outside when the sun is out? Did you know that studying and working out are the perfect combination? Working out stimulates your circulatory system, which helps you get more oxygenated blood in your body. This in turn allows you to concentrate better and longer, exactly what you need during an exam period. For me, doing sports is the best distraction and way to recharge for the next study session. 

So get outside for a running session, book a beach volleyball court at the aclo and bring friends, or do a bootcamp in the park. Enough options, so no excuse to stay inside! 

  • Nice prospects to prevent a slump

As the end of the academic year approaches, the summer holiday season approaches as well. Have you already planned a holiday trip? Perhaps you’ll visit your home country, or discover more of the flatness of the Netherlands. Whatever your summer holiday plans are, keep these nice prospects in mind to get your motivation level up during another tough study session. Make a countdown calendar, find pictures of your destination and enjoy the anticipation!

Don’t have anything planned yet? Check out these blogs to help you make the perfect plans on your days off during the holiday. You could stay in Groningen and discover more of the city centre, or take a train and explore other Dutch cities on a fun day trip! 

  • Take care of yourself & put things in perspective 

This might sound very woolly, in fact it is, but this is also one of the most important tips from my point of view. The last months of an academic year are tough: the weather gets better, you might get a little homesick and your motivation and concentration levels stay dramatically low. Occasionally, a pep-talk to yourself can get you up and going again. Tell yourself the end of the academic year is near, remember the previous tip about nice prospects! But most importantly, keep in mind why you’ve chosen to study your programme, what you want to achieve in life and how grateful you are for the opportunity to study with us at the UG. Try and keep a positive mindset, this will help you get through and believe me, you’ll even enjoy the last few weeks of this academic year! 

Good luck with your final exams and especially good luck with your last study sessions! Don’t forget to enjoy the weather and allow yourself to relax a bit as well. Find the perfect balance for yourself and finish this academic year with a bang!

About the author


Hee hoi, I am Maimoena, a Dutch student born and raised in… Groningen! Besides having a big passion for my Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern studies, I love doing sports (especially rowing) and cooking with my friends or housemates. When I have some spare time, I’m always out and about to explore new places and things! 


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