As the semester nears the end, the looming promise of winter break can make the impending finals week seem like a very particular kind of torture. Buckling down and cramming in those last precious moments of studying is critical, even though it can feel tedious. However, there are a few things that everyone needs that can make studying for finals much easier and slightly less stressful. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try incorporating a few of these essentials in your study regime.
All the Study Supplies
The first thing you need to have is the proper study supplies. It is basically pointless to try and study without everything that you need. Taking frequent breaks to go find something can break your concentration and make it fairly difficult to get back into the study groove. Everyone needs different things when they are studying, but you should make sure that you have your textbooks, any notes you have taken during class, plenty of scratch paper, and lots of pencils or pens. Once you have everything you need, assemble these things in one place they are easy to access.
A Good Study Environment
Putting yourself in an environment that works for instead of against you can be invaluable. This is a fairly expansive recommendation as well. This can cover everything from where you are to what you are wearing. If you choose to listen to music, choose an instrumental soundtrack. Make sure you are sitting somewhere that is comfortable, but not so comfy that you are tempted to fall asleep. You should also make sure that you are wearing comfortable clothing that fits well. If your clothing is sloppy, you won’t perform as well as you would normally.
This isn’t something you can pick up as much as something you need to cultivate. It can be so tempting to get distracted with social media, texting, or playing a game on your phone. These distractions take you out of the moment of study and work against retention of class content. So unplug, sign out, and get focused. Unless you are expecting a crucial phone call or text, leave your phone in another room. Eliminating any diversions will create more value in your study time where information has a better opportunity to stick in your memory. If you are trying to write a paper and you keep getting distracted online, consider using an internet blocker that will keep you off the web for a certain amount of time or until you have typed a certain amount of words.
Rest and Relaxation
Never underestimate to catastrophic implications of trying to study when you are overly tired. To be quite honest, if you are too tired, studying will only hurt you. Your brain won’t retain any of the things you are studying and you will just be missing more sleep. Put parties, late night talks, etc. on hold until you’ve had the chance to make a slam dunk of your finals.
It is also important that you take adequate study breaks throughout the course of your study session. Your brain can only process so much information at one time, so every couple of hours, get up, walk around, and take a break. Just be careful to not get too distracted during these breaks. If you need to, set yourself a timer.
Listen, avocado may not seem like an ideal snack for studying, but it’s power foods like this that will fuel your brain and help it work more productively. Make some guacamole to snack on with chips. Have a bowl of blueberries on hand for munching. Grab a bar of authentic dark chocolate. Get a bowl of mixed nuts put together.
Just because you are studying doesn’t mean you have to snack on a bag of potato chips. Choose instead to munch on foods that are proven to increase focus and advance the efficacy of your memory. The power of brain food has the power to improve the outlook of a stint in studying.
By capitalizing on these few study essentials, you will find that not only does studying seem less dull, but you will also get more out of each session. The prospect of finals need not be nausea-inducing.