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Essential Things You Need for a Successful Grind Day

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wilfrid Laurier chapter.

As exam season approaches and we are all finishing up our final assignments, the need for a successful grind day is essential! I have compiled a list of all the items that have helped me have a focused, motivated and effective day of studying and completing assignments.

Clean workspace

This is the most fundamental aspect for me when it comes to having a successful grind day. My mind cannot focus on my homework if I am thinking about all the dirty clothes lying on the floor or all the scattered notes and pens across my desk. I think it is essential to have a nice tidy workspace, so your mind is only focused on one thing. Take a few minutes to tidy things up and you may see drastic improvements.


After quickly tidying up my space, I always love to light a candle or put my diffuser on. Something about having one scent throughout my room is very calming and puts me in the mood to focus on my to-do list. As soon as I light a candle, it immediately tells my brain it’s time to work. There are also some essential oils that are good for studying and help with focus and alertness.

To-do list

If you take one suggestion from this entire page, let it be a to-do list. I cannot tell you how helpful these little lists are. I make one every week with every assignment on it, so I know how to prioritize and get a feel for what my week looks like. The satisfaction you get from crossing off an assignment is like taking a breath of fresh air. There is nothing better than seeing them crossed off one by one.

Lo-fi Music

Hear me out, Lo-fi music is a game-changer. I used to listen to classical or jazz music to help me focus and study for exams. However, my roommate showed me Lo-fi this year, and I cannot say anything bad about it. I didn’t enjoy it at first, but now if I do not have Lo-fi playing in the background of my grind days, I will not be successful in staying focused. My go-to playlist is on YouTube by a channel named Lofi Girl. This channel keeps a live stream of continuous Lo-fi music and genuinely never stops.


I think coffee kind of has a placebo effect with studying. Whenever I drink coffee, I am immediately in the mindset to study. Obviously, it will help you wake up but there’s another element that just makes me believe that having a coffee (or tea) will result in my best work.


A fresh glass of water is essential for a grind day. It will keep you hydrated for the whole day, although it does suck if you drink too much and then your pee break comes in the middle of a great thought. Nevertheless, water is essential!


Recently, I have found that having paper handy is very helpful for a lot of my assignments. Having the ability to write everything out to fully understand or grasp course material and readings is incredibly helpful.

An outfit

Putting on an outfit other than your PJs is something that will allow your brain to know it’s no longer time for relaxation! It’s hard during these COVID times not to roll out of bed and get to work in your sweats, but separation is good and key to focusing. I always just go for leggings or comfy pants with a comfy sweater, nothing special but enough of a difference to tell my brain it’s time to get in the zone.

All in all, whatever study habits you form will allow you to have the most successful grind day. Exam season is coming up, so try some of my suggestions and see if they are helpful to you!

Maya Allen

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Maya is a third-year communications major and global studies minor. Her passions include traveling, helping others, staying active, cooking and Harry Styles.
Rebecca is in her 5th year at Wilfrid Laurier University.  During the school year, she can be found drinking copious amounts of kombucha, watching hockey and procrastinating on Pinterest. She joined HCWLU as an editor in the Winter 2018 semester, and after serving as one of the Campus Correspondents in 2019-20, she is excited to be returning for the 2020-21 school year! she/her