Advice I Give My Friends That I Should Listen To: Finals Edition

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If you’re like me, you give great advice to the people that you care about. If you’re also like me, you don’t listen to your advice, despite how phenomenal it is! This month’s focus is on finals and prepping for exams. With majority of work done on a computer during the pandemic, it is good practice to give yourself breaks and find different ways of motivation. Today we are going to go through different tips as we fall into finals weeks — tips I know I should be using too.

Exercise:

It is scientifically proven that exercise can be used as immediate stress relief. Consistent exercise will build a protective layer around you brain and will help you better manage stressful situations in the future. You should try to get about an hour of exercise in a day as it helps improve memory. Go for a walk, do some jumping jacks, or have a dance party! Generally, any physical activity will help with your cardiovascular health. If you are curious to learn more about how exercise can have positive long-term effects, watch this TedTalk! https://www.ted.com/talks/wendy_suzuki_the_brain_changing_benefits_of_exercise?language=en

Form a study group:

The pandemic has made it harder to connect with others, but an online study group is a great resource to have! Make a study group with friends from class and ask clarifying questions. Someone may have a better grip on a topic than you and vice versa. It can help you have dedicated time to study a subject a day and can get you that social interaction that we are missing as we stay safe throughout the pandemic. It is one way to motivate you and stay on task. Having teammates can help you be held accountable for studying.

Get a study guide:

If your professor hasn’t given you a study guide, feel free to reach out. Make sure you know the format of the final exam that you are taking so you can plan to best prepare for it. A study guide will help narrow down your focus and give you an idea of the important or relevant information to prioritize studying. Study guides are also beneficial and motivational if you go through it one section at a time, allowing yourself to take brain breaks along the way.

Listen to music:

I am a person that appreciates having background noise. I listen to music with no lyrics to calm myself down. It might also be a good idea to use a brain break to make a playlist for your free time and to study to. I have a playlist for cleaning my room, doing work, and taking a breather. Sometimes a little white noise is all you need to help focus and stay on task. I listen to this playlist a lot https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0vvXsWCC9xrXsKd4FyS8kM?si=VJ_MHskgRnCkgqE6Q1oSjg

Manage your time:

I struggle a lot with this personally, but I always sit down, take a breath, and ask myself what is most important. I like to write out my tasks on a to-do list in chronological order and then estimate the time it will take to accomplish that task. I then move on to scheduling breaks in between each task so I can stay efficient when I complete them. Something like 40 minutes of studying and a 20 minute break may be helpful if you are spending a whole day studying. Just remember to not cram! Know the emotional capacity you have available to dedicate at a time. It is best to give yourself breaks and respect your time.

Move your study space:

Sometimes when I panic, I ask myself what I can control. Move your study space around. A lot of people will be taking their final exams from home. Try studying in your bedroom for part of the day, then your kitchen, then maybe your living room. Change your surroundings to give yourself a fresh space to study in. Sometimes tidying up your room or workplace can be a good brain break.

Use different study resources:

Modern technology is a gem when it comes to having resources to study. Feel free to explore platforms like Quizlet and StudyBlue to help you get through a final. Making handwritten flashcards can also be beneficial. I took up the practice of writing things out three times through to memorize it. I find it helpful for me but play around and find out what is good for you!

In conclusion, finals are hard and scary, but you can get through it! If we could survive a whole semester with in person classes, online classes, and hybrid classes during a pandemic, you can most definitely survive finals week. If it’s any consolation, I aggressively believe in you and hope that you can find at least some of these tips helpful for you.

Until next time — Katie :)

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