Brace yourselves. Finals are coming. And since we’re all sitting in the same boat I’m going to share some of the things that I do to keep myself together before exams.
1. Study in groups
I like to do that throughout the semester as well, but especially before exams I’ve found it to be really helpful to meet with someone who’s going to take the same test as me. Since the bigger part of the studying should be done by this point we usually just go through the chapters one by one and repeat what’s really important and what we need to pay attention to the most.
I love to hear how other students remember the stuff and like to ask them questions since everyone’s perspective and way of explaining is different. Plus, this way you’ll also socialize and feel better at the end of the day. At least I really appreciate the company and obviously cannot speak for everyone, but you gotta try this out if you haven’t already. Just the thought of knowing you’re not in this alone will make you feel a lot more confident and stronger!
2. Keep your routines up
Especially during these stressful periods we like to forget about our daily routines and do nothing else then sit over our books. But exactly that is the worst we can do to ourselves. Well it’s clear that our routines need to change a little but most importantly, try to never skip meals or workouts. For example, I use the meal times as a study and social media break combined and instead of going to the gym for 1,5 hours I only go for a 30 minute run.
Even though you might feel like you can’t afford to take away any time from your studying you’ll not only realize that half an hour doesn’t have a big impact on your study progress but the sport will completely free your mind and make you feel even more productive because you actually left the house and did something for yourself.
Something else that might not seem relevant but – in my example – boosts my confidence is not skipping getting ready in the morning. I’m often tempted to just keep my pajamas on and get to studying right away but washing my hair and putting a little make up on already makes me feel more human and like having my life together at least a little bit.
3. Take breaks and get some fresh air
This point is sort of connected to the things I already mentioned above. Your brain is simply not able to absorb new information for 8 hours straight so please allow yourself to take well planned breaks throughout the day. Depending on what subject I’m studying for I usually take a 20 minute break every 2 hours or so. Try to find out what works best for you and then develop your own study routine.
I also try to leave the house at least once every other day. This might sound crazy to some of you but I really tend to lock myself up in the house and not leave it for days if the exam is really important and a lot to study for. But even if you’re trying to boost your productivity here it’s actually resulting the complete opposite. So please, do not become one of these zombies. Been there, done that. Didn’t help.
4. Stay hydrated and eat well
Of course you should always make sure you drink enough water but when you’re stressed and extremely busy with revising it’s easy to forget about the most elementary things. Having a big glass or bottle in sight on your desk should be the only reminder you need.
Thankfully I’ve never been a stress eater but whenever the hunger comes over me I honestly try to grab something healthy. I know I’d thank myself for it at some point.
5. Get pep-talks
Pep-talks from my best friends and family gotta be the most confidence boosting thing ever. Knowing that other people believe in you and keep their fingers crossed while you’re writing your final has an unreal effect. After getting a pep talk I feel like the negativity shifts and I start to trust myself more again. Faith restored!
6. Schedule fun activities for after finals week
At this point I already know I will be going on a party on Friday and to the museum on Sunday, I also scheduled a new haircut for the week after. I’m really looking forward to all of these things and tell myself that I only need to do well on my exams, then I can enjoy these activities even more! I’ll have something to celebrate on Friday and will be calm and careless on Sunday. It’s like treating myself in advance: If you do well, you get to have fun. Because I know damn well that if I happen to fail one of the finals, the studying will go right on.
7. At the end of each day, do something relaxing
Take a warm bath, drink a cup of tea, do some Yoga. Just know when it’s time to call it a day and do something that you know will bring you down. Tomorrow is another day so try to be as well rested as possible!
8. It’s just an exam
It’s so easy to overreact and sweat the small stuff – especially when it comes to finals. It seems like your whole life depends on them and even if we’d all rather pass them and be done with it you need to remind yourself that there’s not that much to be afraid of. Follow my advice above. Sit down, have a break, get someone to motivate you – motivate yourself. You are capable of so many things and these finals are not going to bring you down. So drop that fear and kick some butt! Alice out.
But now I really wanna know: What do you do to keep calm in such nerve wrecking times? Is there something we have in common or do you even have a suggestion for me? Just write it in the comments, I would love to hear it!