Making the Most of Your Study Sessions

By this point in the semester, stress is at an all-time high.   Sleep is for the weak, coffee is the only drink we know, and calculations are being done feverously to figure out just how well we have to do on the final to get the grade we want in that class.  Long story short: this part of the semester may well be the most stressful time of the year.  In order to perform the best you possibly can on your finals, I am providing my go to tips and tricks that help me make the most of the precious hours I have to study for exams.

 

  1. Mindfulness: You aren’t going to get much done if you are anxious and/ or overwhelmed so when the stress becomes overwhelming and it feels like things are spinning out of control, I find that grounding myself through my body is the best way to re-center and focus.  There are several ways to do this, and I will write out my personal favorites here.  First there is the practice of literally grounding yourself, where in you place both of your feet on the ground and really feel the connection between your feet and the ground.  You then take the time to notice other things about your body (hence the name for this exercise body awareness) for example, you can think about how your clothes feel, how the sun feels on your face, or the tension you are holding in your chest.  Simply acknowledging these things brings you back down and can be a reset button for your body and mind. 
  2. Find Your Study Space: If you don’t already have your go to place to study, it’s time to find it.  Whether it’s a library, a coffee shop, or a grassy lawn outside, find a place where you will be able to focus and be the most productive you can possibly be.  Things to consider when finding a study space: do you need absolute silence to be productive?  Do you study better with lots of people around?  While studying with your friends at the cafeteria may seem like a fun idea, if you aren’t going to get anything done, then be realistic with yourself and know you will need to find other places and time to study for finals.
  3. Meaningful Breaks: I stand firmly behind my belief that the study breaks are equally as important as the study sessions.  The key to being able to have a long and productive study session, is rewarding yourself and giving yourself breaks when you need them.  Everyone has a different system, whether it is 45 minutes studying and 15-minute breaks, or sitting down and completing one task and then doing something to reward yourself, having some sort of positive incentive at the end of the studying tunnel is what will help you keep going when you hit a wall.  Rewards can be as simple as a Netflix episode, a walk outside, or spending time with friends.  Whatever sort of break will recharge you and help fuel you for the rest of your study session, remember to take breaks as you are going to be less productive if you try and sit down and try to do everything in one sitting.All this to say, take care of you this finals week and remember, it will all be over soon and then it’s all about summer!