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Studying for Exams During a Pandemic? Here are 3 Tips to Help

It’s that time of the semester again. Final exams are looming, but the end is also in sight! The finish line is right there, but we can’t cross over just yet. It’s a stressful time of the semester as we finish up our last few assignments and study for exams. On top of all that, we have also been living in a pandemic for the past year. Everyone’s world has turned upside down, but someway, somehow, we still manage to soldier on. 

Due to everything currently happening in the world, it can be difficult to get into school-mode with full force, especially if you are at home and not on campus like many students are. There are ways to work around this with a little bit of adjusting here and there. As the great Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.” Keep reading for tips on how to effectively study during a pandemic.

Take lots of breaks!

Don’t feel the need to study for 6 hours consecutively. Chances are, you won’t even be fully focused for the whole time. You will likely tire yourself out much quicker and be less productive. If you try to study while hungry or sleepy, those feelings will distract you from completing your work. Listen to your body. Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are sleepy, and rest when you need it to allow for more productive study sessions. If you live with your family, use your study breaks to check in and spend time with them; see how their day is going. A simple chat with family and/or friends, whether in person or over the phone, is a great way to reset and switch out of academic mode for a moment.
 

Stay off your phone

Given that everyone has been indoors for the past year, technology has quickly become our primary pastime. You probably spend much more time scrolling through social media; you take one glance at your phone and before you know it, a couple hours have passed by. This is precious time that could have been spent completing school work instead (and then you don’t have to do everything at the last minute!). I have found my phone to be quite distracting when I’m trying to study because the urge is always there. You can combat this by turning your phone off or putting it in a location separate from where you are studying. This way, the urge is lessened because the opportunity is no longer there.

Study in a different location than your bedroom

It is quite tempting to wake up, roll over, grab your laptop, and begin studying right on your bed. I am guilty of doing this and have learned it’s not a very effective study habit. Working from home has taught me the importance of having separate spaces for work and relaxation. Laying in bed trying to get work done will likely put your body in sleep mode, making you less efficient overall. If you have an office or some other quiet space in your home, that is a  more ideal study spot. You can even choose to study outside as we approach the summer months and the weather warms up!

This pandemic has not been easy for anyone. We have to find a way to cope with the many life changes the pandemic has introduced, one way or another. Many students have had to adjust to the reality of online learning, and many of us long for that in-person campus experience. We took the little things for granted, like walking to class and chatting with peers. No one is alone; we are all in this together. Making these little adjustments to our study habits can help you have a better end to the semester. I hope everyone reading this has had a positive semester, and I wish you all good luck on finals!

Hi there! My name is Adanna and I'm currently a student at the University of Waterloo studying Business and Political Science. Aside from academics I have many interests. This includes writing, reading, social justice and fashion to name a few. When I'm not studying, I'm usually reading a good book or watching a good tv show.
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