Wednesday, 11 June 2014

I am probably the last person who should be giving advice on how to study or not to procrastinate, but I think I have successfully survived exams in the past and passed my exams, so I thought of sharing my little tricks to less stress.

I would love to be the kind of person who could still go out on practically a daily basis and still not miss their weekend nights out and start studying from months before. Unfortunately, I am one of those who studies days before an exam. This way, it's harder to not be stressed especially if you want to get good grades. Then again, all revision has been kept until the last minute and you still procrastinate. Example 1: Me writing this post right now instead of studying for my next final. However, the below list is what have been keeping me sane throughout and hopefully they can help some procrastinator out there.

1. Green tea
I have been trying to be off caffeine because of my anxiety and let's face it, daily doses of coffee weren't doing any good to me or my grades. I actually still get exhausted so I thought I'd try green tea. It not only boosts your energy by a bit but also keeps one calm. At least it does for me. Caffeine wise, it's a better choice for me than coffee. Apparently it is good for a healthier lifestyle and should be part of a balanced diet; so really why not go green?

2. Music
I cannot stress enough how important music is to me, even when I study. I started this whole music while studying thing back during my O Levels when I was in secondary school. I used to turn the radio on and had Adele's 19, Lana Del Rey's Born to Die and Rebecca Ferguson's Heaven albums on constant repeat. I did the radio thing again for my A levels and now here I am with Spotify in the background. I like to have songs I am not familiar with so that I would not be too distracted and start singing out loud. Acoustics and instrumentals work wonderfully as well.

3. Food
Need I elaborate?

4. Sleep
If like me all nighters don't work for you, then just go to bed. I stay up very late but I never see the sun rise accompanied by my notes. Sleeping is healthy. So is taking a nap. Reward yourself with a nap to boost your energy levels. Also, taking a nap after an exam is probably the best nap ever. Just, don't sleep all day, okay?

5. Hardcopy of notes
Reading your notes on a laptop or tablet could be extremely distracting and you could easily find yourself chatting away on Facebook or watching a series. Best to print out your notes and keep a highlighter at hand. It's prettier and more efficient.

6. Don't stress too much
Okay so this might be ironic. What I mean is don't view these exams as life determining. I know they are important but if you fail you can always try again. Life is way too short to stress to the extreme. Remind yourself that 'fine' begins with an F; so you will be alright. (Okay, maybe that was a silly analogy, but I tried).

7. Summer
I think summer is a wonderful goal you can set yourself. I like crossing out my exams and seeing my summer (and birthday!) get closer each day!

8. Not alone!
I like thinking how I am not alone going through this. Thousands of others are up late studying as well. So if you need any assistance, do not hesitate to confide in your friend. They understand your situation completely!

Remember, billions of others have survived finals. No reason as to why you shouldn't either! These 8 steps have been helping me keep at my calmest during these stressful, sad times. I hope they have been of help. I would like to know some other techniques, so feel free to share them.

Good luck if you are doing your exams, they will be over before you know it!

Maria x

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