I’m by no means a study guru. But my time in nursing school has taught me what studying tips and tricks work for me, and let me tell ya.. waiting until the night before the exam and pulling an all nighter doesn’t end well. Ever. (Ok I’ve only tried it once, but never again!!!) It usually ends in a pit of self despair, chugging very low quality coffee because Starbucks isn’t open at 2 am, and me asking the same question over and over again because lets be real, I’m a grandma and my brain shuts down at 10 pm. Just don’t try it, friends.
With that being said… Here’s a list of things that you SHOULD do during finals week.
- SLEEP. I’m not talking like have a Netflix binge and sleep 16 hours of the day kinda thing, but you will thank yourself later if you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep the night before the test. I know that’s easier said than done, but make yourself a priority. Your brain functions better when it’s adequately rested.
- TAKE BREAKS. For me, if i study for three hours straight and then tell myself that I’m going to take a 20 minute break, 20 minutes quickly turns into a hour and a half break spent scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest, and repeating that whole cycle about 4 times. I’ve learned that I’m much more productive if I take a 5 minute break every 45 minutes to an hour. My brain (and my sanity) depend on those 5 minutes to rejuvenate and rest my mind. Currently my study break is a little longer than 5 minutes, I’m laying in my bed and eating chocolate covered coffee beans… does that count as my break, my rest, and my caffeine? Dang I’m good at multitasking.
- HYDRATE. As simple as it sounds, it’s honestly easy to forget to drink water. I always keep a water bottle with me. If it’s in sight, I’ll frequently take sips as I’m studying. Hydrating will help your mental clairty, and your facial clarity. Who wants finals week stress breakouts to further add to your stress?!
- GET A GAME PLAN. Write down in your planner what you’re going to study and when you’re going to study it. Having a plan helps you to better manage your time, and it helps to have what you need to accomplish listed out so there are no surprises, or so you don’t walk into the test and then realize, “Oh my GOSH I forgot to study the material from test 3!”
- BE CONFIDENT. You know what you know. If you’ve studied and you’ve given it your all, that’s all that you, or anyone else, could ever expect from you.
P.S., if you make a C, heck, even if you fail a class, it’s NOT the end of the world. It happens. It’s really no different than people who change their major and have a few classes that they took essentially for no reason if they don’t apply to their new major. Its all the same in the grand scheme of things. You retake the class, you EXCEL the second time around, and you’re on your merry way to being a degree holder. Failing a class does not equate to you being a failure.
I know this all sounds so simple, and you’re probably thinking, “Duh. You should drink water.” But as college students, even the most basic functions somehow become these obsolete ideas during finals week. After hours and hours spent in a library with little human interaction and lots of stress, it’s easy to forget simple things, like oh, sleeping.. eating.. drinking water.
Goodluck on your upcoming finals, I know you’ll rock them! Only a few more days until summer! Keep studying hard and racing to the finish line that’s watiting for you with beach trips, sleeping in late, suntans, and the sweet ring of freedom.