Guess what guys? Exam time is approaching, AKA the few weeks in every semester full of sadness, stress, and snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. Like, mountains of cookies and Pepsi and coffee, all so we can hopefully pass our classes and our essays and, after it’s over, sleep and enjoy our short break.
But, before you get to the partying and the sleeping and the holiday cheer, you have to get through those exams. But how? Well, my stressed out friend, let me help you with that.
Step One: Juggling
Not the tossing-three-balls-into-the-air kind of juggling though, unless that’s your thing. No, I mean the study-work-play kind of juggling. The kind where we begin to realize those obligations we have are maybe a bit too much. We’ve all been there – your best friend wants to hang out, work scheduled you for extra shifts, and you’ve got four essays coming up. It sucks. Like, majorly sucks.
But don’t freak out. Freaking out is bad, bad, bad; the worst thing you can do. Instead, I advise you to ditch or reschedule with your friends. I love mine too, but you and I both know school is going to eat away at you the whole time you chill with them anyways, so you might as well finish a couple of reports or study for a bit before you make any major friend commitments, but make sure to still make time for them, or you may end up with a situation like this:
And as far as work goes, ask someone to take your shift. If worst comes to worst, call in sick – not that I’d ever do something so scandalous – because ultimately your marks are more important. But that does bring me to my next piece of advice:
Step Two: Become a Schedule Junkie
But work is important too, right? I mean, school doesn’t pay for itself. My advice? Try to write a schedule. You’re working the night shift? Schedule time in the day to study and a few hours for play. I find making a list or a schedule by hand is a good way to release some of that pressure, that way you know exactly when you’ll do what, and you can focus entirely on the task at hand.
Step Three: Distractions! Distractions Everywhere!
After you’ve made a schedule and decided when you’re going to do what, you need to be focused. Let’s be honest: focusing is one of the most difficult things to do when you’re studying because, well, studying sucks. Not gonna lie, I hate it. I hate it to death. Writing essays too, but you’ve got to do them and you’ve got to do them well, so focusing is crucial to your school survival.
Personally, I like a little music – either with headphones or otherwise – turned at a low volume. This is especially true at home, where distractions are EVERYWHERE. Like the phone ringing or your baby cousins running around or the TV and the radio at full blast. By tuning all of it out, you can be more productive.
But music might not be your thing. Maybe you need silence. In that case, go to the library’s silent zones – in particular, the silent zone on the ground floor. It’s glorious. Everyone there is crazy strict about the rules (quiet down or face the dirtiest of dirty looks, friends!) and all generally have the same goal: to study, to write essays, to finish lab reports. It means that, though the complete silence is awesome, the fact that everyone around you is in the same boat is even better because you’re not going through your study hate alone.
And Finally, Step Four: TAKE A BREAK
I’ve met all sorts of studiers, from the binge studiers to the on and off studiers to the studiers who never really study but pass anyways, so I know some people hate this tip. Like, I mention it and they go nuts, completely nuts! But listen friends, I know it’s tough and I know you probably have an exam in three days, but you’ve been working continuously for weeks without rest. And you aren’t looking so good – a little tired in fact. You know it and I know it. You need rest. You need to relax.
I think the worst thing people do when they study too much is psych themselves out and the only way to counter this is to just take an hour – thirty minutes even – and relax. Watch some interesting YouTube videos, or maybe see a movie, or go out for lunch with those friends you’ve been neglecting. Plus, you’ll feel refreshed because your head will be clearer and your anxiety will hopefully have gone down a bit.
But really, the most important thing is to do what works for you. And no one else but you. Just remember that all work and no play can be very, very dull indeed.