10 Ways to to help you survive finals…
Finals are coming up and I know how stressful it can be. So I have compiled a list together to help get you ready for that dreaded week. Let me know what you think!
1. Know your schedule
So many universities arrange their finals week differently. Your finals week schedule could almost be completely opposite of your normal school week schedule. Make sure you get the details and plan your week accordingly. Scrambling to find this information on the day of an exam will only serve to increase your nervousness.
2.Get Sleep–Dont pull All Nighters
One of the first thing that goes during finals week is our sleep. Pulling an all-nighter, however, is one of the worst things that you can do (short of accidentally sleeping through your final). Tired brains do not retain information, nor do they recall it well. Just like preparing for a test your brain needs to prepare to by getting restful sleep. Study hard, but make sure you make effective sleep a priority!
3. Stay active
Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, and sitting in one place for an extended period of time can lead to a tired, ill-supplied mind. You don’t want this during your week of finals! You may be thinking… “I barely have time to eat, let alone study. How am I going to exercise on top of it all?” You don’t have to do a crazy workout to get blood flow going. Try a short walk, a set of crunches or push-ups. Just do SOMETHING!
4. Eat good healthy food
Its not a surprise that healthy food is on this list. During finals week especially, you may be tempted to eat and drink whatever you can find, but stop! The quick calories of processed carbohydrates will leave you exhausted. Planning can go a long way as you head into finals week. Grab a bag of carrots, handful of almonds, turkey slices with cheese, for these emergency hunger spells. These are all my favorite go-to snacks:)
Side note–Before a final, be sure to eat a meal that is high in protein. Most final exams are more than a hour in length, and a sugar rush will not see you through the exam. Likewise, taking an important test while hungry can be a recipe for disaster.
5. Drink water
Your brain works best when its Hydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and headaches, which will distract you from your work. Interesting fact: Caffeine dehydrates you more, so for every caffeinated drink you have, have a bottle of water; your body and mind will thank you!
6. Mix up your studying
When you have more than one final, you might be planning to study for each individually, almost like chronological order. After pulling some research I have found that “…human brains are not designed to focus narrowly for long stretches of time.” Plan to work on a individual subject for an hour or so, then switch to something different. Dont think that you have to spend all your time equally between all the subjects. . If you do this, you will find that your retention increases, and the repetition that comes from revisiting material more frequently will help your class content “set” in your memory! You will be amazed at what your brain can obtain in short periods of time
7. Avoid Social Media
We all know that if you get frustrated or anxious, one of the first things we do is pull up some type of social media platform. It feels like its helping take our minds of it for a couple minutes or so, but in reality it ends up taking more time than you originally planned. That 5 minute break ends up being 30 minutes of surfing your social media accounts. Try going without it for the day, or use it as a reward of completing something. This will help you stay on track!
8. Select a good study place
Don’t just start studying anywhere. Find a quiet, orderly place. Home isn’t the best place to study. With all the familiar objects around and friends/family, it would be too easy to get distracted. Instead try to visit the campus library, open extended hours during finals week. A peaceful environment will be an essential component to help with your concentration.
In moments when you feel your stress level is climbing, take a deep breath for four counts, hold it for four counts, and exhale for four counts. Try this a few times. You may be shocked at how much better you feel. YOU GOT THIS!
10. Reward yourself
When everything is said an done, go reward yourself. Regardless of your grades, go an do something to take your mind off school (since your brain has been on overdrive for that week). It could be a movie, dinner at a nice restaurant, road trip, amusement park, etc. Go be with people you love and care about to take your mind of it all. Take a deep breathe, smile and say, “I made it.”
Good luck everyone! I’m rooting for you!