University sometimes can seem like everything is going so smoothly. You’re organised, you have done most of your assignments and you are feeling oh so, great! You’re thinking ‘why not treat myself to a well-deserved study break?’ So you decide to sit back, relax and zone out from university’s study stressors. That one-day break quickly turns into two, then three, and before you know it, it has been a week and you have started to panic. That annoying, loud sarcastic voice in your head rings like an alarm telling you, ‘you’re doomed!’ Your cortisol levels rise and you are now in full stress mode! You begin to panic and those exams that have seemed so far away are right around the corner. What are you going to do?
I, Bec, am writing this blog so all of you who thought that exams were ages away and are suddenly remembering about that assignment that is due tomorrow, can get back on track to passing. I have come up with a set of rules that will reassure you that it is not too late to start getting your study back on track and making sure that the nerve-racking click to view your grades at the end of semester isn’t so daunting.
Rule one. Stop stressing! A little bit of stress is ok, but overdo it and you will just get sick. So take breaks from study (not week-long ones!). Study for an hour, or what works for you, then go for a jog, paint a picture, watch a T.V. show or do whatever you want, as long as it is not study. If you overdo it and make no time for breaks it is just not going to work. Unless that does work for you. Then keep on keeping on.
Rule two. Make a timetable. I know you probably hear this all the time from all your lecturer’s and people who just want to lecture you, but seriously it works! All you have to do is get a piece of paper or whiteboard (my weapon of choice) rule out some lines and make an individual box for your days. You can choose to study an hour for one subject, have a break then study for something else. Having a timetable is great because you can follow things that have been set and it can help with making designated times for breaks so you don’t get bored.
Rule three. Change how you study. Repeating the ways you study can get boring, tiring and even make you stop studying altogether because you’ve simply lost interest. Be sure that one study session is different to the other. For example, you might use cue cards and test yourself with friends for one, and for the next one you can teach someone about what you need to know. By teaching someone else in your own words it helps reinforce the information in your head, so when it comes to that exam question, you’ll ace it!
Rule four. Drink plenty of water, get you’re your recommend 6 – 8 hours of sleep, and exercise. By combing these things with your study you’ll create a great balance that will ensure you will be on the path to success! Oh, but you can’t find any time for exercise? Or you neeeed to stay up till 2am to study? Ummm… no you don’t! Remember rule two! Make a timetable. You can incorporate these things into your timetable! Make exercise one of your study breaks and if you forget to drink water make some sticky notes or put hourly reminders in your phone. Drinking water not only hydrates you but helps with concentrating. Getting enough hours sleep also helps with concentration levels. So I know you’re not seven years old anymore, but make a bedtime. This way you have a set time, where all books shut and pens drop, for you need to get your beauty sleep so you can get the most of your timetable tomorrow!
Rule five. Because five rules makes it feel complete. If you’re really stuck and you feel like you have tried everything else, ask for help. Although this sounds very simple, it can be very effective. There are a ton of great resources out there.
So start your study timetables, drink your water and stress less. Hey, if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done!