For those of us not on spring break right now, midterms are in season. I find midterms to be quite stressful and intimidating, and I’m sure I am not the only one. Here is a list of six simple ways to keep yourself less stressed and kicking your exams in the ass.
- The Timer Method
Do you have trouble studying? Are you finding the motivation to get your work done? Is Tik Tok taking your study time by storm? The timer method is an easy trick that has helped me to focus on my studying and sneak in a few Instagram scrolls here and there. After creating a list of everything you need to do, it can seem very overwhelming and, frankly, unmotivating. Try setting a timer for just 20 minutes and see how far on the list or into an assignment you can get. 20 minutes does not seem like a lot of time, but you would be amazed by how much you can get done when letting yourself focus for that time interval. Try it once, and then take a five-minute break to let your brain rest and reflect on what you just completed. Then start again with 20 or let yourself go further and amp it up to 30 minutes. With these short bursts of energy, you will be finished with your study list in no time.
- Tea vs. Coffee
A lot of students face a grueling addiction to caffeine. You may be one of them. But what to do when you need a small boost of energy at night but need to be up for your 8 a.m. exam the next morning. Try drinking caffeinated teas. Tea can contain a good amount of caffeine to give you that small jolt to the end of the night, while also soothing your nerves and not giving you the same anxiety and jitters that come with coffee. A much better option to go to tea at midnight than a cup of coffee.
- Edit Your Playlist
Music. It is what drives us through our emotional states and the way to make any party better. We all have that go-to playlist of songs that we know by heart, with quite a few that we choose to skip out of exhaustion. Exams are a great excuse to go through and declutter or form a new playlist that is perfect for studying. If you have a lot of songs you tend to skip, take them out. You will find yourself trying to avoid a song more than studying, but it may end up stuck in your head later when you need to catch a few z’s. Formulate a productive study song list, or even find one on YouTube or Spotify.
- Try Chewing Gum
Gum is an annoying habit or a good way to freshen our breath but can also be used as a study tool. Studies have shown chewing gum while studying and again during an exam can actually help a person retain and recall information better. The patterns formed while smacking down a piece of gum can help you focus and create a subconscious memory trigger. It also is known that eating food is, by human nature, a signal to your brain that you are safe. This study trick can also help you reduce stress and anxiety while studying.
- Stay Hydrated
Did you know you’re supposed to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day? To simplify this a little, a person who weighs 140 pounds should be drinking about 70 ounces of water per day. Investing your time into making sure you are drinking enough water is a perfect way to help your body stay healthy during midterms and in general. The last thing you need during an exam week is to get headaches and low energy due to dehydration. Although hard with COVID, there are still ways to drink water. Try bringing a water bottle that has a straw to slip under your mask or try to go outside to get a few sips in before and after classes.
- Change Out Of Those Sweatpants
While staying up late and studying or trying to maximize your time can result in messy buns and sweatpants, taking the time to get a shower in and put on jeans can help you a lot during exams. You may have heard the phrase, looking your best helps you feel your best. By putting in the extra time to pamper yourself, put on some make-up, and choosing a cute outfit, can actually help you in productivity levels and it is a great way to start a productive day. Remember, self-care is just as important as studying and acing your midterms.
I hope these tips can help you get through your exams in the next few weeks and you can apply them to your routines in the future. Remember to slow down, take a deep breath, and ace those exams, baby!