It’s that time of the year! Nope, not Christmas, but final’s week. Yeah, finals week gets really hard, stressful, complicated and the list goes on, but you have to be careful and stay healthy in order to be proactive.
1. Eat well
By this time, Starbucks and the library are already your new best friends, and so are the chips, the midnight snacks and maybe even cigarettes (yuck!). You’re probably tempted to eat and drink whatever items are most convenient, but eating healthy food is always a good idea. Being healthy is the key to staying focused and energized. Quick calories of processed carbohydrates will ultimately leave you exhausted and you’ll probably end up failing, so what’s the point? Drink water or tea instead of coffee, eat a protein instead of a Doritos bag, and just stay focused on getting some healthy food in your finals diet.
2. Don’t slack on your workouts
If for whatever reason you don’t want to eat healthy, stay active! Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, and sitting down for hours can lead to a tired mind. You may not be able to do a full workout session during finals week, but make time to have a short walk or to do a couple sets of push-ups.
3. Disconnect from social media
Silence your social media accounts not only because it obviously distracts you but also because people tend to stay on social media longer than they think. Don’t get lost in the Matrix (unless it’s the Matrix of your study guides)!
4. Take frequent study breaks between each review
Research has shown that human brains are not designed to focus narrowly for long stretches of time. Take short five-minute breaks each hour to refresh your mind while studying then review the material again. By switching it up, your retention increases because revisiting and repeating material more than one time will help you set the information in your memory.
Get some sleep! Don’t pull an all-nighter if you can help it, not because you might accidentally fall asleep during your final, but because it fatigues your brain and doesn’t help you retain information.
6. Eliminate other sources of stress on finals days
Remember that some finals are on different days or hours from your regular class time. Be absolutely sure that you know when and where your final is going to be held. Trying to figure out this information on the day of an exam will only serve to increase your stress.
7. Learn from other people
Don’t be shy, and ask questions to your teacher! It’s better to embarrass yourself than to fail your test. Attend the review sessions because it offers vital information on the exam format and key concepts you should be focusing on. Start early and organize a group study session, because sometimes it is helpful to study in groups.
8. Make studying fun
Try to make it fun! It’s easier to focus if you learn to quiz yourself, create acronyms or study in groups. Create some sort of a game plan where you reward yourself for any accomplished tasks with perhaps a long-desired Caramel Macchiato or a bag of Skittles.