There's only about a week until we all back up our bags and travel our separate ways for Winter break. The only thing standing between us and the bulk of our holiday festivities is final exams. It may seem hard to get into the studying mindset when liberation is so close, but its essential to remember that they are important and will be over before you know it. With this being said, here are a few study tips and tricks to help you ease the stress of finals this last week.
Ditch the Phone for a While
If you're really trying to get some studying in, having your phone or another form of distraction right next to you will not benefit you. Instagram and Facebook aren't going anywhere––you can check them after you're done studying. I suggest leaving your phone in your room or at least turning it off while you go study to avoid that overwhelming urge to see what you're friends are up to on social media every five minutes. This has helped me a lot, and if you have trouble concentrating; this is a great tip for you to try.
Don't Overwork Yourself!!!
I know there's a lot of us who study to the point of exhaustion both mentally and physically. It's important to remember to take breaks and set aside time to do relaxing things as well. For me, I know that studying isn't effective when it consists of sitting in the library for hours on end and reading over the same flashcards repeatedly until my mind feels fried. If studying in the library is your thing, then go for an hour or two to study and then go grab lunch with friends or something before returning to work.
Also, I find that studying for one subject for a couple hours and then switching to a different subject after taking a break helps keep my brain stimulated and invested in what I'm studying. Studying the same thing all day without taking breaks is really monotonous and you might feel like you're going insane. So trust me on this one and next time you go to the library to study––make sure you have some plans with friends mid-study sesh and even take a nap if you need to.
Study with Your Classmates!
As long as you aren't getting distracted, it's always more fun and sometimes more helpful to bring together some classmates for a group study session. Have one of your classmates bring some snacks and head to someone's dorm or even a park in the city to study together. Studying in groups really eases the stress of finals and acts as a reminder that you are not alone in this! You are all in the same boat and all want to succeed on the exam. Studying with others can give you a break from the isolated study sessions at the cubicles in the library, and you might also learn some new study techniques from them!
One great way to study in a group is by making it fun with games like Jeopardy or Kahoot. I played these with friends in high school to study for my AP exams and it was the perfect way to keep us motivated during exam season. I highly suggest trying out engaging games like this to keep things light and fun!
Find Your Favorite Study Spot (that isn't the library...)
I'm currently writing this article while taking a break from studying at Starbucks in the East Village. Quiet coffee shops or other little cafés in the city are some of my favorite places to study. Sometimes shutting yourself in your room and detaching from the outside world can be draining, so making a trip to the city and heading to a coffee shop is a great alternative. This way, you can stay caffeinated and feel involved in the hustle and bustle of the city all while getting some studying in.
If you're feeling overwhelmed with the amount you have to do before break, it's a great idea to sit down and get organized. Make a list of the things you need to do, or write them on a calendar. It always feels better to get it out of your head and onto paper so that you can lay everything out and plan when and how to complete each task. I like to write down everything I need to do before the week is over, and then separate them into days so that each day includes both work and leisure. This is also a great way to ensure that everything doesn't get pushed until the last possible day it needs to be done.
Exercise or Go for a Walk
Exercise is a great stress reliever for a lot of people. I like to go to the gym and run on the treadmill for a while to release some energy and clear my mind. It's also a great way to take a break from all of that studying. If the gym isn't your thing, you can always just take a walk through a park in the city or even just around campus! Any kind of physical movement helps a lot with relieving stress, clears your mind, and is a good way to get your body moving after hours of sitting at a desk with your nose in a book.
I hope these tips help you all prepare for the week ahead and ease some of that pre-exam stress. Just remember to do your best and that it's not the end of the world if the results don't end up in your favor. Just keep pushing through and before you know it––the semester will be over and the holiday season will be in full swing!