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The Most Wonderful (and Stressful) Time of the Year

Oh, December, the most wonderful time of the year—and the most stressful. 

Between the snow-covered winter wonderland and the exchanging of gorgeously wrapped gifts, final exams have their way of sneaking into your life. Now with almost three years of post-secondary exams under my belt, I’ve decided to share some tips that I found helpful during this season.

1. Organize your study notes

Separate your notes into sections in whichever way you like best. You can split them based on sections such as “key concepts” and “exercises”, or by module. This will differ from class to class, but by doing this, you will be able to approximate how long it'll take you to study, and this will help you create a schedule. One benefit of virtual learning: your lectures or class notes are usually accessible online. 

2. Set up your study room

As someone who thrives in organized workspaces, I find that the environment you work in can play a huge part in how you study. Do you work better with lo-fi music on? Find a playlist, pull it up on your phone and get in that studious headspace! If you prefer a change of scenery, try working outside of your typical study room. It can even help to have a plant nearby, or a hot cup of coffee—whatever floats your boat!

3. Start the timer

Sometimes, the hardest part of studying is starting. With a schedule, you'll have specific times set aside to study. Set a timer for that period and take a break in-between your study sessions. This is similar to the Pomodoro Technique where you set a timer for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, then study for another 25 minutes. This technique might not be everyone's cup of tea, so adjust it as you see fit and find what works for you. 

4. Take breaks

In a time as stressful as the exam period, remember to take breaks! Whether you're taking an hour off to watch your favourite Netflix show, going on a jog or baking a pie, give your brain some much-needed rest.

5. Get those Zzzs

It might be tempting to pull an all-nighter right before your exam, but getting good sleep is just as important. 

6. Take a deep breath

You know why? Because you've got this!

Good luck!

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Kathy An

Western '22

Kathy is a third year student at Ivey Business School and studied Data Science in her first two years. When she isn't writing, she can be found reading, drawing stick figures, or hanging out with her friends. If you ever see her around, don't be shy and say hi! She doesn't bite (usually).
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