Hi everyone! If you’re a college student like me, you’re probably in the midst of finals as you’re reading this post. I know dead days are supposed to be days off so we can study… but who really does that? And I know I should be studying but instead, here I am, writing my weekly post. Trust me, the last few weeks have been extra stressful but I’ve taken even more precautions to avoid getting sick. Sure, C’s get degrees but they won’t get you into a decent grad school. Here’s my finals week survival guide to keeping stress levels at a minimum, not getting sick, and acing those finals!
Finals Week Survival Guide
Schedule your studying.
There’s a reason why I own an Erin Condren Life Planner! When it comes to studying, especially for finals, I like to know what day/time my finals will be so I can plan ahead. I prefer to break my studying down into sections and study chunks here and there. For example, my final for human diseases is based on four chapters. I designate one day of studying for each chapter. Then I’ll break that down further into one session for reviewing textbook questions, another session for reviewing lecture notes, and one last session for reviewing the study guide. In between all those sessions, I’ll allow myself a break to eat, go to the bathroom, or catch up on social media… but not for too long!
Study alone (or with friends!).
I prefer to study alone but sometimes, it helps to study with friends. Especially if you’re in the same class! You can definitely collaborate and help each other out. And like they say, you won’t fully understand a topic until you’re able to teach it to someone else. So if you’re helping a classmate out, you’re most likely learning as you go. It’ll also help you perceive information in a different way. Even if you’re not studying the same subject, you can keep each other sane.
Find the right atmosphere.
During the day, I like to study at school or at the library because it makes me feel more productive. I also love to study by a big window where natural light comes in; I hate studying under fluorescent lights. Sometimes I like to study at Starbucks because it smells like coffee and there’s something about being around other busy people. When it’s later in the day and I’m getting off work, I prefer to be in the comfort of my own home. But I do not allow myself to study on the bed. I have a desk for where I do all my work. Otherwise, I’d be falling asleep while studying.
I cannot stress this enough. Just as much as your brain needs oxygen, you also need water to properly function. According to Psychology Today, “dehydration can impair short-term function.” So make sure you drink those 8 glasses a day to stay hydrated, healthy, and smart! Plus, it’s a lot better than drinking soda or caffeine, which act as diuretics and can dehydrate you. I always make sure I have some water next to me. It’s become such a habit, I can’t study without it.
As tempting as chips and candy may be, it’s important to snack smartly in order to stay focused. You’re supposed to consume 3 vegetables and 2 fruits a day. I know when you’re too busy studying, you forget to eat sometimes. That’s why I like to snack while I study — it helps me concentrate. I’ll usually try to get plenty of veggies in my meals and when I’m studying, I’ll snack on fruits such as tangerines, bananas, or apples. Your body will thank you for choosing smart snacks over junk food.
Get enough sleep.
You might be tempted to pull an all-nighter and memorize as much information as you can, but it’s crucial to get the required 6-8 hours of sleep. Believe it or not, sleep deprivation effects both your body and mind. From past experiences, I’ve hallucinated and almost got into car accidents because I was so sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation also effects your test scores because you’re not able to think clearly. I’ve found it best to study earlier in the day (and a few days ahead), so I can get at least 6 hours of sleep. Make sure you get those Z’s before the day of your final!
I know finals can be stressful and nerve-wracking but you should definitely take some time to relax! Even if you have a busy schedule, allow yourself 30 minutes to relax. You can meditate, take a nap, go for a walk (or go running). Play with your dog. Catch up on one episode of your favorite tv show. Read a book or a blog post. Take a deep breath, clear your mind, and remember that it’s not the end of the world. However you relax, don’t forget to do it every now and then.
How do you prepare for final exams? Let me know in the comments.
Don’t forget to like & subscribe. And for those about to take their finals, good luck! x
PS: I’m collaborating with a bunch of lovely ladies to do a holiday giveaway, which ends in 10 days. We’ve compiled some great products to give away to one lucky US winner. It would be awesome if one of my readers won!