The hustle of finals is now upon us. Evidently, this is nothing new to us -- but it never hurts to try out a few common study tips to help us cruise through the utterly infamous reality we call finals week.
1) Stay on top of your health.
- Dehydration leads to a loss in concentration and can negatively affect your cognitive thinking. The daily water intake calls for about 8 glasses of water a day. During excessive studying, I try to double that amount when studying late. This especially applies to all you caffeine bingers out there! Immoderate intake of caffeine = decreased energy = one physically and mentally exhausted student.
- Take (healthy) snack breaks. Use this as a reviver for moments when you feel that your exhaustion could kick in at any minute. This can also serve as a self-motivator; for every few chapters you complete (for example), treat yourself!
2) Block out distractions and choose the right environment.
- Kiss social networks/media good-bye... At least for a few hours/days. One of the most important aspects of committing to effective studying is blocking out the distractions. Even if you're in one of the most peaceful study areas you know, your productivity will lie at zero until you gain the discipline to lay off of StumbleUpon, Facebook, imgfave, etc. Save these time wasters for your study breaks, folks!
- Study with efficient people. Nothing breaks your study streak more than those individuals that absolutely cannot stay on track with what you got together to get done in the first place. It's comforting to study with friends, but be wise when choosing your study buddies if you want to be productive.
3) Prioritize subjects and take advantage of study materials.
- Calculate grades before studying. Admit it, this is common nature to us all. This is a way to prioritize which finals to study for first with the allotted time you have set for yourself. Regardless of the order our finals come in for the week, there is that one class that wrenches us and calls for more attention than the rest of our exams. Because of this, we also need to...
- Gather all study guides and previous exams from throughout the semester. Use those as tools to look over what was done incorrectly in the past -- especially for cumulative finals.
And last but not least...
4) Catch some Zzz's: Discover the Power of the Power Nap.
- Despite all the fatiguing hours of studying, you must make time to rest your body and mind. If there's one thing I've learned in my past two and a half years of college, it is definitely that all-nighters are not for everyone. All-nighters are by far the least effective forms of studying, hence the prioritizing. Using your time wisely is such an imperative factor. Try your best to get those 8 hours in. For those who find it nearly impossible to do so are usually fans of power naps. 20-30 minute intervals of shut-eye can boost your energy throughout your day more than you think.
It's time to put your brains to work! Good luck to all - Winter break is right around the corner!