Guess what!!?? It’s Final Exam Time!! Oh, you already knew that? Sorry, please…please stop sobbing and punching your screen. We only brought it up so we could offer some tips on how to make the most of your cram sessions. Here are some tips to help you during this trying time:
Find a favourite spot: It’s important for good studying that you can get settled and focus on the task at hand. This means setting up in a tried and true spot that allows for maximum concentration balanced with adequate relaxation. You want to make sure there are plenty outlets, good lighting and adequate area for a quick bag nap.
Places like the Riddell Centre or the Education Building Hallway can offer lots of room for study groups. Be careful though, they might be too prime for people watching and cause your mind to wander. Libraries are always quiet (and some have extended hours during finals) but aren’t always great for if you want to get that crick out of your neck with a good old stretch-and-groan.
Fill your stomach: Don’t study on an empty stomach; it can be distracting and lead to procrastination within procrastination (procrastiception?). “I can’t start studying until I’ve eaten but I can’t decide where to eat…soooo studying will have to wait.” These are the words of someone about to lose two hours of precious review time.
If you’re studying in the morning or afternoon, make sure you’ve actually eaten a breakfast or lunch that’s more than cold pizza (nothing against cold pizza it’s just not metabolic motivator or mind waker-upper ). If you do need to get something while you’re out studying, places that serve a quick, hot brunch or a stellar sandwich should be your go-to (like the Owl) or somewhere you can study and eat in relative peace (like the Owl).
Fill your bag: Make sure you have everything you need before you set out for that study spot, even if it’s just the back deck or balcony. The less moving back and forth the better and if you’re heading out it’s best to have your magic satchel stocked with the essentials.
Obviously you’ll need things like your chargers, travel coffee mug/thermos/gallon drum and your notes, but it helps to have study snacks, an extra charger and a good old napping hoodie for, well, naps obviously. Perhaps pack some tissues in case you spill your beverage and can’t find paper towels or the inevitable breakdown occurs and you don’t want your tears messing up your notes.
Get up and move: After sitting (or sobbing) for so long, it’s good to get the blood flowing. Shake out your legs, shoot some hoops or get a serious sweat on at the gym. Any activity is good activity as it helps your circulation and your concentration.
Once your body has had a workout it’s easier for your mind to work out…that problem that was bugging you before. Sometimes an idea or solution can come to you when you’re focused on something other than studying so try some exercise and movement to find that ‘Eureka’ moment.
Talk about it: Don’t make it the only topic of conversation but try talking about your studying with a friend. Maybe they’ve taken the same class or subject and can offer some guidance or maybe they’ll just say something random that makes you look at the problem a different way. Talking with a friend about studying can also relieve some stress as you get a worrisome topic off your chest.
Although the only thing worse than studying is talking about studying it can help to face an idea that makes you anxious, instead of letting it hang heavy over your head. If you feel like you’re being overwhelmed you can also speak with our VP Student Affairs or the University of Regina’s Counselling Services: www.uregina.ca/student/counselling/contact.html
Take care everyone, remember ‘Finals’ aren’t the end of the world, they just sound like it!