Three key motivational tactics for finals week
While it is important to find time to study during finals week, it is also important to not go crazy worrying about exams. Locking yourself in a dorm might be a good way to memorize airplane schematics, but it is also an easy recipe for driving yourself mad.
Having a week-long schedule is a great way to know when and what you are going to study. But it is also a smart idea to carve space in the day for non-studying activities. Motivational activities will help you get through a tough week and into summer.
Hitting the gym
If you have the time, hit the Rec Center at least once per week. Going hard for an hour on either a treadmill, StairMaster or weight bench will allow you to focus on nothing else and get some stress off your back. Exercise has proven to provide people with reduced stress and improve self esteem. By getting a good sweat in between study sessions, you will have the energy and confidence to get to work.
When you’re studying, the newest YouTube video, or even Silicon Valley’s season 4 lurks in the back of your head. Whatever the distraction may be, it will not do you any good if, in the middle of studying, you click onto YouTube for five minutes. Because it won’t be five minutes. Those five minutes turn into a whole hour; an hour turns into two; and before you know it, it is 11 p.m. and you want to go to sleep.
But studying for five hours straight also doesn’t do anyone any good. By that point, you are tired and your retention rate is dropping. One way to get through a hard study session is to have an incentive; a light at the end of the tunnel. After an hour or two of studying, or after memorizing X amount of words or finishing however many practice exams, take an hour to yourself and surf the web for whatever your heart desires. But remember to be disciplined and get back to work once the hour is up.
Studying with friends
Having study sessions with friends is not just a way to maintain sanity amid stress. It can also be a way of getting the most work done. You can only go over your notes so many times before it becomes repetitive. But with friends, you get to hear voices other than your own, and depending on the subject, debate opposing views.
Plus, being around friends helps create a relaxed environment for students. Rather than mechanically studying for everything, your actions can be organic and free-flowing. Also, there’s always a chance someone will digress the conversation for a much-needed change of pace. Being around friends keeps the situation calm and helps everybody end the year on a good note.