You don’t know how it happened, but it’s that time of the year again. Finals week.
Whether you’re a freshman experiencing the pressure for the first time or a senior about to take your last final ever, the struggle is, undoubtedly, real. Before you freak out and commit yourself to a life of penniless misery, take a deep breath and read through these 11 study tips.
1. Don’t procrastinate
You may be tempted to put on Netflix and tell yourself, “I’ll start studying later,” but that won’t do you any favors. Procrastination is, in the words of Bobby Boucher’s mama, the devil! If you’re having trouble getting started, sit down and commit to just 10 minutes, then see how you feel.
2. Listen to classical or instrumental music
Many studies show that listening to classical or instrumental music benefits the brain and can help lower stress levels. If you don’t have time to make a playlist yourself, check out this one we made on Soundcloud. Full disclosure: I jammed out to it while writing this blog post.
3. Take short breaks/reward yourself
You’ll be more motivated to keep studying if you have a break or reward to look forward to. So chow down on that piece of cheesecake you smuggled out of the dining hall, take a quick walk around the quad, or check one of your social media accounts. Whatever reward you choose, make sure it’ll keep you motivated enough to accomplish what you set out to do.
4. Eat healthy food
The temptation to order pizza and wings at midnight may be hard to surpass, but your brain will thank you later if you choose something a bit more substantial. This Buzzfeed article lists some delicious brain food that won’t break your budget.
5. Don’t over caffeinate
There’s nothing worse than a case of the jitters, especially when you’re in crunch mode! Try to limit your caffeine intake and drink more water. Staying properly hydrated will also help you stay focused.
Everyone knows that exercising is good for your overall health, but it’s even better for your mind! The next time you take a break from the books, hit up the gym or go for a run around campus.
7. Chew gum
Many studies show that chewing gum can improve concentration and visual memory tasks. Just remember to chew quietly if you’re around others. No smacking!
8. Know when to stop studying
Sometimes less is more. Don’t overload yourself once you’ve hit “the wall.” Take a break or go to bed and start fresh the next day.
9. Limit Distractions
With all of the technology that’s readily at our fingertips, it can be a challenge to focus on what’s important when it comes time to study. Luckily for you, there are plenty of resources available to help if you have little or no self-control. Tools like, Self Control, Focus Booster, or TinyFilter, will block specific websites for any length of time you choose.
10. Get some rest
You aren’t thinking about pulling any all-nighters, are you? The sleep you lose during these all-night studying sessions can actually do more harm than good! Your memory recall is much better when you’re well rested, so make sure you get a good night’s sleep before your big exams.
This is probably the most important tip we can give you: just relax!