Assalamu ‘alaikum. I wrote this article when I was sixteen years old. Since then, my views of things, especially in regards to Islam, have changed and developed. For instance, I know now that the purpose of life is Islam, and not merely and solely ‘work’, whether academic or professional. 

This week, I have learnt a quintessential life lesson: when things become unbearable, step back and relax for a while. This may seem like a simple concept, however in the current fast-paced, indomitably frenetic society we live in, relaxation is- no doubt- something that is easier said than done. 

I am a Year 11 student, currently in the process of studying for my upcoming GCSE exams (85 days remaining!). At the start of the academic year, I made a vow to myself. I told myself that I would work hard, and that I would have no zero days- no days utterly devoid of any work, even if that meant dragging myself out of bed to work on some coursework while gradually dying due to being a sorry victim of the flu.

Granted, I have had no ‘zero days’, but throughout the academic year, there have been times when my body pleaded me to stop- to relax, to allow my brain to heal itself. I know that I have been unduly dismissive of the signals my brain has been sending. I disregarded them as excuses for procrastination, but in reality, I needed to relax.

My ultimate advice to fellow students is to create a revision timetable, but within this timetable, allow yourself some time to take a walk, or have a bubble bath, or even to just stare at the ceiling for a while. Your mental and physical health are a thousand times more important than any letter on a grade sheet. That being said, education is vital, and we are fortunate enough to have such amazing opportunities at our very fingertips.

So, fellow comrades: work hard, sleep well, exercise, and treat yourself- chocolate doughnuts were made to be consumed. 

Sadia Ahmed, 2017

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