Keep stress, fatigue from exams at bay
The beginning of fall marks preparation for homecoming, the turning of red leaves and dreaded midterms. Studying for exams can be a stressful time in any college student’s life.
Whether it’s for regular exams, midterms or finals, tests can add unneeded stress that can either make or break a student. But there are ways to keep from falling into that scary pit of anxiety.
Here’s the key: Do not overindulge in activities that do more harm than good during exam week. Instead, find ways to limit your stress level and study in moderation.
Don’t wait until the last minute
If you cram a lot of information all at once, it could prevent your brain from recalling the material on exam day, Gaylyn Maurer, outreach counselor at the UH Recreation and Wellness Center said.
“It’s better to study and take a break so your brain has time to digest that information and doesn’t get overloaded,” Maurer said.
“Your brain can freeze up and the anxiety and stress can block your access to the information, preventing you from recalling the information you have learned.”
Give the “all-nighter” ritual a rest
Many students believe they work best under deadlines. This may be true, but ask yourself if it’s worth the sleepiness and fatigue you experience the next day.
Maurer says absolutely not. Rest is best. Even 15 minutes every hour might give the body what it needs – a little R&R.
“Students need to get some rest. It’s better to rest than to push through and not remember what you studied.”
Make a plan
Start studying ahead of time. As you read the materials, make notes and create outlines. This will keep your mind focused and organized
Slow down on the caffeine breaks
Try to avoid caffeinated drinks. Caffeine is a stimulant that can actually create more stress. Worst of all, it can prevent you from getting enough rest.
“Students need to avoid caffeinated beverages, especially energy drinks because eventually they make you crash,” Maurer said. “So it’s better to stay hydrated by drinking water.” Find natural ways to stay energized during exam week by eating fruits and vegetables that are packed with nutrients your body needs to stay focused and keep you awake.
Throw a study party
Study parties are a great way for students to help support each other during exams.
However, don’t let this turn into a loss of valuable time. Depending on the group of people, study parties can be more distracting than studying at home by yourself.
Here’s how to throw a proper study party: Make sure you go to a quiet place, so there are no distractions.
Try to meet with people in your class because studying with friends can turn your attention in the wrong direction.
Jog your memory while you work out
Maurer says that exercise helps clear your mind and keeps you focused on your goals.
If you’re thinking it’s hard to balance a workout schedule with a study schedule, Maurer said she’s seen students do both.
“Some students read while they’re on the treadmill,” she said.
Remember they’re midterms, not the end of the world
It’s good to make the grade, but don’t hurt yourself in the process. Too many students worry about one grade, and put less focus on taking care of themselves, Maurer said.
Reminding yourself constantly about what’s at stake can backfire and add an abundance of stress and anxiety, which is the last thing any student needs at this point in the semester.
So keep your goals in mind and try hard to reach them without adding too much strain on your body and mind. Remember, it’s just a test.
Visit UH Recreation and Wellness Center for some R&R between 8 a.m.-8 p.m. The Wellness Lab has a relaxation room for students who need some down time during the day.