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With finals fast approaching, you might find yourself scrambling around to prepare for the sleepless nights that lie ahead. Exams seem to have this way of creeping up on you. One minute you’re coasting through the semester and the next minute it’s finals week. The stress build-up is truly overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve been there and I get it. If you are one of these people, then have no fear. Here’s a couple of tips to help get you through the dreadful thing that is studying.

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1.Pace Yourself

The last thing that you want to do is try and plug in three different classes or three different sections all in the same hour of studying. Chances are none of these things are going to stick in your brain, and you’ll just end up wasting your time. If you have a lot of material to go over, pace your time out. Study one section for about 20 minutes, take a break, and then go back or move onto the next section. This way you’re absorbing the information and sitting on it for a while instead of trying to do everything at once.

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2.Take a Breath

I know, easier said than done. It’s hard not to get overwhelmed, stressed and a little panicked looking at everything that needs to be done. I’ve been there before and it doesn’t make anything better. If this is you, then take a minute, take a deep breath and relax. Once you are calm, you’ll be able to focus. You can do this. I believe in you.

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3.Use Websites for Help

There are a few websites that can help you out when it comes to studying, so if you can, give them a try. One that I love to use is Quizlet. Quizlet is a website that allows you to make flashcards to study from. It’s great because you can do little quizzes and games that help you study. Either you write them out yourself, or you can look for others that already exist. If you’re someone who gets easily distracted, you can check out Self Control. Self Control is a program that locks certain websites on your laptop for a designated amount of time. It’s a simple way to keep you zoned in.

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4.Plan Everything Out

If you have so much stuff to do that you just can’t keep track of what’s going on, you can make a plan. This way you’ll have a visual of what’s spiraling in your head. Make a list of everything that you need to get done. Once you have that written down, take a complete look at the list that you have and number by priority what needs to get done when. I’ve done this before, and it helps when your brain is especially frazzled.

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5.Reward Yourself

It’s always nice to treat yourself when you accomplish a goal, and sometimes, that’s what you need to keep yourself going. Whenever you finish a section or complete 30 minutes of studying time, give yourself a reward for getting through it. You can make yourself a quick snack to eat while you’re studying, have a one song dance break or watch a 5-minute YouTube video. When you set rewards for yourself, you’ll be motivated to get to the end – especially if you set a big reward at the end like watch a movie or order food. You can even try the gummy bear trick if that works for you.

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6. Environment is Key

A lot of times when I’m studying, my environment affects me – and maybe that goes for you, too. If this is the case for you, then put yourself in an environment that will positively affect you. For me, I put myself in a space where there’s no one around to distract me, play my “chill vibes” playlist and sit in a comfy place with comfy clothes and zone in. Just do what works for you and is going to help you – you’ll notice the difference.

Happy studying!


Melanie Medrano

Columbia Chicago '21

A music-enthused entertainment journalist who wants to share her voice with the world - one article at a time.
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