University exams, a magical time in all student lives where they stress-out majorly, feel hatred towards tutors for making it all due at once and want to cry because they realise the end of semester is so close.
Here lies the common 20-something university student stereotype... eat, sleep, study, work, last minute assignments and trying to socialise in the meantime *proceeds to drink sorrows away*. During times of stress and immense pressure to boost their GPA from a 4 to a 6, students tend to binge eat on the highest of glucose snacks. You name it, they eat it. Alternatively, they won’t eat for hours on end because they're "on a roll" or "on the brink of submitting this essay" *3 hours later, still have 900 words left*.
So in light of this beautiful time within uni student lives, we are here to remind you how to effectively study and revise like you did in first year - bless their naive little souls. We remind all the lost students out there what the outside world is and encourage you to get changed out of those pyjamas you’ve been wearing since Sunday morning. So, you want to really try your best this semester? Here's how.
The Month Prior:
1. Plan ahead
All your teachers preach these words every tutorial, and for good reason! Future you will be thankful for planning your schedule accordingly, organising your thoughts and knowing what your priorities are. Use whatever you can to aid you through the next month; nothing is worse than a last minute meltdown from not having studied enough.
2. Hit the hay
Nothing is more important while studying than getting in those well-deserved Zzz’s. Planning on all nighters for the next week? Don’t. You’ll end up restoring and retaining more information by getting a solid 8-hour sleep than pulling a 24-hour caffeine-triggered sugar-rush delirium the night before your exams or study sesh.
3. Take time off
Step away from the textbook for a day and let your headspace breathe for a few hours. This method is especially great if you’re stuck on a problem you can't seem to solve. Taking a step back from your work and coming back with a fresh perspective may be the solution you needed. Try a long bath, catching up with friends, going for a run outside, or book a massage to ease your neck tension. Whatever helps you relax, do it!
4. Eat well while studying
This advice couldn’t be more true, rather than reaching for the sugary fast rush of lollies or chocolate, try a slow releasing energy snack like a banana, apple, or your favourite fruit. Not keen on fruit? Try some popcorn or a spoonful of peanut butter, it goes down a treat! Keep in mind your eating habits determine how well you retain that extra information in the long run.
5. Plan your meals out (especially for the week prior to exams)
This assures you don’t miss any important meals. Even if you prep some small snacks and store them in the fridge, you can easily take them back to your room of required readings. This way you wont forget to eat, or stress about how much time you’re wasting prepping a meal.
The Night Before:
Make sure your head is organised, keep your thoughts clean and relaxed, eat a proper meal full of carbs and protein and make sure you’re completely relaxed before bed. Try a bath, cup of tea, or simple meditative breathing for a few minutes. It's best to avoid your phone and laptop, but you can read some last minute revision before snoozing it out.
The Morning Of:
Woken up from that awesome sleep you just had? Great! You and your brain are ready to put your knowledge to the test. Start your day with a mini stretch session to help relieve that extra tension you may be feeling. Be sure to eat a sustainable breakfast full of protein, carbs, and fruits and veges. This exam is not the be-end and end-all of your life, so take a deep breath and kill it like you always do.
The After Party:
Not many folks go into detail of what to do after your final exam is over and if they do it involves a prescription for heavy doses of Tequila and an immense amount of self-loathing, plus a few burritos for good measure. Obviously it’s great to go out for a celebratory drink with your uni mates, but try not to binge your way into the abyss and wind up with a lost wallet, one shoe missing, and a headache to last you the next fortnight. Eat a satisfying meal after your exam and continue on your balanced diet once the semester is over (50% alcohol, 50% cheeseburgers of course).
We hope these simple guidelines will help all of the struggling uni students out there to cope with the next month of intense exam revision, required readings, and 50% worth of assignments. Good luck.
Header image via Kai Jacobson