With finals approaching sooner than you’d like to admit, it is important to stay healthy and energized to ace these evaluations. As stressful as finals period is, you can manage the stress with study strategies to help get you through the long nights . These four study strategies can help you perform your best on your upcoming exams and papers.
Make a Plan
It helps to make a plan for studying. Schedule certain nights or times in the day to study different subjects. This tactic keeps you organized and helps you stick to a plan. Kayla Canady, a junior dietetic major at the University of Dayton, says that she “makes a study schedule before finals by writing out the days of the week and filling in time slots when I am able to study for my various classes.” She adds, “Doing this keeps me very organized and reduces my stress.” Some people use a planner or a wall calendar for this while others use their smartphones or computers. Whichever works best for you, it is important to have a solid plan for studying.
Get Enough Sleep
Most students are unaware of how much sleep (or lack thereof) affects their bodies and studying abilities. While students need varying amounts of sleep based on their own body, it is essential to sleep enough during finals. Getting in enough hours will ensure that you can stay focused during your study sessions, and it will give you more perseverance to make it through longer study blocks. Try going to bed and getting up around the same time each day to allow your body to maintain a steady routine. Furthermore, it is especially important to get enough sleep the nights before big exams. It is important to feel rested and ready to take on the exam.
Many college students think they need to skip out on exercise during finals to make time to study, but this can actually hurt them. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which wakes you up and improves your focus. Abruptly stopping your workouts can confuse your body and brain and even throw off hormones, so continuing to work out is beneficial. If you feel like you just don’t have time to exercise, take short ten-minute walks every hour during your study sessions to increase blood flow and give your brain the break it deserves.
Eat Energizing Snacks
During finals period, students tend to eat their meals or snacks during study sessions. While this might save some time, students often opt for quick snacks and meals that are low in nutritional value, like crackers, chips and fast food. However, it is vital to eat snacks and meals that will keep you energized so that you can study hard for those finals. Snacks like nuts; granola bars; Greek yogurt and granola; carrots and hummus; and apples and peanut butter offer complex carbs, ample protein and healthy fats to keep your brain sane. Moreover, try to eat meals that are high in nutrients and low in empty calories to ensure that you stay healthy through long study sessions and reduce your stress.
You want to feel good during your study sessions, and following these tips can help you remain less stressed and be better prepared for finals.
Michelle Baker is a junior at the University of Dayton majoring in dietetics, with an emphasis in sports nutrition. She plans to become a registered sports dietitian.
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