An Open Letter to All UBC Students

Dear fellow students,

            We’re about a quarter into finals season and I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling incredibly exhausted. Every day I go through a fluctuation of moods that vary between epic motivation and wanting to skip my finals and just fail. During my lowest moods, I try my hardest to keep my head up. While I’m in no way authorized to give professional help, I want to give you all a friendly reminder:  

Enjoy the beginning of a new day

            Try to go to bed before midnight, get a good night’s sleep, and wake up at 8am. Try to take the first hour of your day to fit in a quick exercise (whether that’s a quick run or 20 minutes of yoga) and have a nutritious breakfast. Waking up with a fresh mind and well-rested body is essential to your day’s productivity.

Don’t say “no” to social activities

            Well, to a certain extent, of course. If you have three consecutive days of exams, it’s in your best interest to deter away from social gatherings for the moment. But if you have 5-7 days between your exams, consider saying “yes” to an invite to the movies or a chill night with your friends. Don’t go out and party – you’ll just spend the entire next day trying to recover and you won’t be able to work efficiently. But spending time with your friends for a couple hours will be refreshing and rejuvenating, so don’t completely put your social life on pause.

Stay hydrated

            Keep a bottle of water by your study station and remember to take a sip of water here and there. Doing so may prompt you to head to the bathroom more frequently, but those 5 minutes are a break that you need as well. Keeping hydrated not only maintains your snacking tendencies (we all feel those pounds packing on during exams), but it also flushes out the toxins in your body if you’re feeling a little bit inadequate in the self-care department during this time. It’s so simple, but so easy to forget.

Abandon your perfectionism

            This is a time to manage your time efficiently. This is to say, organize your day smartly. Don’t strive for perfection if it’s taking a toll on you and making you stressed out. I, of all people, know how hard this can be. I’m a perfectionist to the T. But I’ve recently learned to relinquish this mindset in order to maintain my sanity. If you have 3 term papers due and 3 exams to write, be confident in your skills and just submit that damn paper. You’ve been doing this for so long – you know what you’re capable of! Don’t strive for perfectionism to a fault. Maintain your sanity.

Put your books away 30 minutes before your exam

            I find this to be very helpful. Instead of studying to the very last minute, take a 30 minutes break before your exam. Close your eyes and listen to some music. But remember, there’s a difference between a distraction and a break. Don’t go on YouTube and start watching videos. They will take your mind to a place too far away from where you want to be. You need to find a sweet spot where you can still retain the information you’ve reviewed and not drive yourself over the edge. My stance behind this is because I’ve realized that whatever information I know up to this point is the extent to my knowledge. Accept it and do your best.

Stay alive my fellow peers, you’ll pull through :)

 

Image 1 taken by author

Image 2 taken from: http://daniellezeigler.com/vision-board-friday-breathe/