Finals are unfortunately right around the corner and we can no longer hold off studying.
Although it’s just studying, it can often seem like a daunting task, and we can easily get discouraged or feel like we’ve had enough if we don’t manage our time properly. I thought I’d share some of my study tips that I have accumulated over the years, which help me stay on top of things and help reduce my stress.
1. Plan, plan, plan and plan!
This is probably the tip that I place the most importance on. I’m very big on planning and making lists, and using this in my studying is no exception.
I usually like to start by making a list of all the things I need to do, all the lessons I need to review, if I need to do practice exams, etc. I write everything down by hand, I find it’s more “definitive” this way, I don’t like writing this on the computer or on my phone.
I’ll then print out a calendar for the month and place the items from my list onto my calendar. I also make sure to include my “work” days so I know that I can do very little on those days.
Obviously, things don’t always go according to plan, things might come up preventing me from completing everything I had planned for the day. Alternatively, on one day I might be able to do more than what I originally thought. In both cases, I re-arrange my calendar to make sure I will still end up doing everything I need to.
2. Find a comfortable local
This one probably goes without saying, but it’s important to find a place where you’re comfortable and won’t easily get distracted.
Some people like studying in a cafe, but for me, there are way too many distractions. I love people-watching and I know I wouldn’t accomplish much. I prefer studying at home. I know that other people find studying at home way too distracting because of family members in the house, television, video games, etc.
It’s important to know where you’re most comfortable and go with that.
Also, think of your “body position” in each of these study places. If I ever study in my room, I’m usually sitting on my bed, but this gets uncomfortable really fast and then I get antsy and I have to stop studying. That’s why I prefer to study at the kitchen or dinning room table. In addition to this, I’m someone who needs to spread out all my notes in front of me, so I need a large area.
3. Plan your study breaks
Before I start studying for the day, I like to mentally take note of when I’ll be taking my study breaks. This way, I know exactly how much time I have left of studying, and I tend to get less antsy. It’s also motivation for me to stay focused; I tell myself if I study hard for the next hour, then I’ll get to watch an episode of a show on Netflix, or work out, or have lunch, etc.
4. Take time for yourself
Right before finals, it seems like all that matters is studying. While it’s obviously important to do so to get good results, it’s also important to take care of yourself, physically and mentally.
I like to try to still find time to sleep in a couple days a week, work out almost daily, and watch and episode of a show before bed, or read a couple of chapters of my book. These things take my mind off studying and it makes me feel like that’s not all I’m doing for one month straight- that I’m doing other “fun” things.
Also, eating healthy is really important to me, especially during a stressful time. It can seem like you don’t have time to prepare healthy meals or snacks, that it’s so much easier to pick up a burger and eat it while studying, but you have to take the time! Your mind & body will thank you.
Thanks for reading, I hope this was helpful to some of you!
What are some of your study tips? Leave them in the comments, I’d love to read them!