Finals are an integral part of the American student’s life, and with finals week on its way it’s time to get ready. Studying constantly can be a very difficult way to live for more than a couple of days – so get ready and you could make it a lot easier!
Something to bear in mind is that proper nutrition and hydration are exceedingly important to the accurate functioning of your mind. Make sure, at all times, that you have easy access to water, healthy snacks and regular meals. It’s tempting to hole up in your room all day and all night and just cram, but it’s been shown that incorrect nutrition can cause your brain to become sluggish.
It can also make it much harder to retain facts, which obviously isn’t what you want whilst studying. Dehydration, meanwhile, can cause severe headaches and more. Bottled water is expensive, but keeping a jug or re-used bottle of tap water on your desk is just as good. Some treats may help, too. Don’t go overboard; good nutrition is important. But having a chocolate when you finish for the day is no bad thing, and can help keep your spirits up and motivate you when you’re near the end of your studies for the day.
Overnighters are a fact of life for many students, but ultimately getting plenty of sleep is invaluable to good performance. Not only because you physically need sleep – you also need to be able to unwind and not feel like you’re stressing 24 hours per day. Ensure you set rigid bedtimes and get your 8 hours, and don’t be tempted to go straight from the books to your bed; leaving an hour or so to read a book and unwind, or watch something you enjoy on the television will allow you to relax and let go of your studies. This will make your sleep deeper and more restful; it will also let you enjoy it more. All of these facts combine to make sure you are a more effective, more efficient student during the daytime. Don’t blow off sleep!
And finally, do things other than studying. Build some time off into your schedule every day. Again, you need to let your brain unwind to make sure it’s ready to start hitting the books again. This needn’t be anything grand; a coffee with friends or a walk in the park will do. But make a conscious effort to set aside your studies while you enjoy a different activity.
Not only does this help your brain be more receptive to your studies when you get back to your desk, it also helps you avoid depression and anxiety, common issues for students mid-finals. As both depression and anxiety can stand in the way of your performance in rather a large way, it’s important to avoid them any way you can. Arrange for a big event at the end of finals week, so you can truly celebrate! It’ll be something to look forward to!
Ultimately, finals week is a difficult time. Follow these tips, and buckle down… It will be over soon, and then you’ll be free to enjoy the holidays!