Ramadan (the 9th month in the Islamic calendar) is considered a Holy month amongst the Muslim community to show gratitude and thanks for the day to day luxuries, such as food and water, that we would otherwise take for granted. The annual event lasts 29-30 days depending on the moon cycle, and this year it falls on 5th May, meaning that it’s likely to affect many students studying for their summer exams! You may or may not know, but those taking part will fast between the hours of 2.30am and 9 or 9.30pm, meaning all food and water is prohibited between sunrise and sunset.
We called in Jaber a member of our lettings team who is also studying for a Master’s degree and participating in Ramadan, to give some top tips on how to help you manage your studying whilst fasting.
Top Tip #1: Study at night
“It might take a little bit of getting used to, but I find that studying at night is usually easier, as I have managed to eat a little and therefore my energy levels are higher and I have better focus.”
Top Tip #2: Work your schedule
“When I was at university full time, my schedule was pretty flexible so I found that sleeping during the day when I was fasting allowed me to be awake to study through the night and for my evenings to be more productive.”
Top Tip #3: Adjust your study methods
“Even though you will have more energy throughout the night, you will still feel more tired than usual, so it’s worth switching up your study methods to something that will stimulate your brain more. If you’re used to copying notes across, this may make you feel tired, so try something more creative, like a poster. Sometimes I find it useful to have a study partner who I can talk through my notes with.”
Top Tip #4: Know when to stop
“Obviously, Ramadan is a one of the Five Pillars of Islam and is considered a very Holy month, but sometimes you have to listen to your body. So, if you become ill before or during the month, take a break from fasting. You can make it up by fasting another time when you are at full health.”
Top Tip #5: Take it slow when breaking your fast
“My last tip would definitely be to ease yourself back into food come 9pm, especially if you intend to study through the night. If you go wild and have a huge meal to break your fast, the likelihood is you’ll experience a slump in energy a few hours later, or enter the dreaded ‘food coma’. Nobody wants that when you need to be productive! I tend to start off with a small snack, like maybe a drinkable yoghurt or some dates, have a little break to let my body adjust, and then have something bigger around 30 minutes later.”
We hope Jaber’s top tips for getting through Ramadan will help you this exam period! If you need extra support during this time, speak to your University tutors, they may be able to facilitate your circumstances to make studying easier for you.
Ramadan Kareem from all at YPP.