With exams right around the corner, many have already started their self-imposed exile in the library (or their own study spot of choice). We all want to do well on exams to raise that stubborn GPA and be showered with praise when we go home for break, but we also should not sacrifice our mental or physical health for a letter on our transcript.
First and foremost, make sure you continue to eat well leading up to and during exams. Panicked biology students studying in Winston-Salem can tell you: your body needs food to work.
In the grand scheme of things, the 15 to 20 minutes it takes to grab food from the Pit or Benson will not determine your grade on an exam, so try to eat real, healthy meals.
Second, go to the gym, go for a walk or even use those intense FitDesks — think stationary bikes complete with a desktop — in the library. Whatever it is, do some sort of exercise. Not only is it good for your health to get up and move after basically becoming one with your spot, it will also help you continue to focus and retain information. After you’re burnt out from memorizing a bunch of vocabulary or from working on that research paper for hours, working out is the perfect way to clear your mind.
Try to get enough sleep, too. Sleep often isn’t a priority -— even earlier in the semester — but it should be, especially during exams when you push yourself to learn such a vast quantity of material.
Sometimes, late nights are unavoidable, but try to plan your study schedule in advance so you’re not left with a ton to do the night before your exam.
Try to finish studying for the day earlier in the evening to leave time to relax and digest what you’ve studied and get plenty of time to sleep. Running on little sleep is unsustainable, even just for a week, and it will hurt you when the time comes to sit down and take your exam.
The last piece of advice I have to help survive exams is to take advantage of the resources the university offers during this time of year.
My personal favorite are the therapy dogs. Sitting and petting dogs goes a long way towards reducing stress, and it helps me survive the last few days until I get to see my own dog. There are other activities and resources as well.
During exams, there is often free food at night in the library and meditation or massage booths that appear around campus.
Exam week is not a fun time for anyone, but make the most of it by taking care of yourself both mentally and physically. Be sure to eat full, healthy meals, exercise, get a full night’s sleep and take advantage of resources the university offers to reduce stress. Good luck, and remember: you get to see your pets soon.