For most of you, exams are right around the corner. At Belmont, ours are December 5th through December 12th. Needless to say, they’re coming up pretty fast! I can’t believe that my first term at college is already coming to an end.
Emo Hours aside, at the request of a close friend of mine, I decided to compile a list of some tips to help you ambitious ladies get through a tough week of exams before your well-deserved break at the end of term. Without further ado, I am thrilled to present ‘The Ambitious Girl’s Guide to Surviving Exams’!
- Stay hydrated
I feel like this one is always the first that I advise, no matter the theme, but it’s true. Especially if you’re an iced mocha junkie like I am, your bod is gonna need a lot of water to keep you focused and energized while you’re studying. Try to carry your water bottle with you wherever you go and down one every one to two hours. As they say, ‘hydrate or diedrate’!
- Snack, you Snacc!
In the stress of life, and especially exam weeks, I can sometimes forget the basic human needs, and I know I’m not alone. Even if your nerves got you feeling like you’re full, have a little bit of food at every normal mealtime and keep some fun snacks like bananas with peanut butter, cucumbers, and crackers around. These will nourish you while you’re focusing and fill you up so that you can keep moving.
- Take some time for yourself
In the midst of exams, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the stress and not take a breather. For me, it’s an episode of The Office, working out, or an easy sewing project that I’ve made before, like a circle skirt or a boxy knit tee. For you, it might be taking a walk in the sunshine or having dinner with your friends. Be sure to take time for you, because it recharges your energy and will, interestingly enough, help you focus further!
- Study with a Pal
You might be worried about focus because of your friends being right there for this tip, but allow me to explain. A close friend of mine would sometimes FaceTime me when we both had work to do, and we would keep each other accountable for a certain amount of time, usually 30-45 minutes. After that, we would take a 5-10 minute break and repeat the cycle. I’m actually doing this right now! It really does help when you know that you’re depending on someone else, and someone else is depending on you.
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and with good reason. Flashcards are one of the best ways to memorize like terms together. I use them for math formulas, terms for economics, and different schools of thought for philosophy. They’re practically magic!
- Use a planner, you fool!
My planner is honestly what keeps me sane. I love the feeling of checking things off, and color-coding my different classes keeps me on track when I have several things in each course to complete before a certain time. If the assignments are due at different times, I tend to put the due dates in brackets next to each item in order to keep me organized.
- Panicking helps nothing
I’ve gotten really good at pushing aside panic in the moment. When I feel stressed or mess something up and feel the anxiety and panic attacks rising up my throat, I pause. I ask myself, ‘Bethany, what good would having an anxiety attack do? It would require twenty minutes of trying to get your breathing back under control and would do nothing for your productivity except waste time. And you can fix this problem in the twenty minutes that you would otherwise lose’. It sounds weird, but after that self-talk, I can take a deep breath, get organized, and fix the issue without wasting any time. It isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of practice, but you can eventually subdue those guys and keep moving.
I hope that these tips help ya to stay organized and thrive during your exam weeks, loves! Remember, if all else fails, take a deep breath and know that you’ll be absolutely fine. I believe in you! You got this, love!