With finals quickly approaching, students will be spending more time hidden away in the depths of ZSR and various buildings on campus. Yet, it is essential to have a positive and productive study experience.
Despite the temptations to eat unhealthy foods as we hover over books, skip the gym in exchange for an extra hour of studying and choose cramming over that extra hour of sleep, it is still important to take care of ourselves during this time. There are many ways to have a productive, yet healthy preparation period for finals.
First, you must have a positive environment. I am not saying it should necessarily be upbeat, but it is necessary to be in order to remain healthy both physically and mentally.
A way to do this is to pick out a good playlist to listen to while studying. Often times I put on random Spotify playlists to listen to while I write essays, study for exams or do homework. I like to have background noise while I study and listening to something new and different helps keep me focused. While music may be a distraction, I find that music keeps my study environment positive and still productive.
Second, it is important to remember to eat and take breaks. I have found myself working for hours without moving or taking my eyes off of my work. Once I am done, I am in a daze because of the time that has lapsed. It is important to get up and move around periodically to get your blood flowing and to have a mental break. In my experience, rest and downtime are crucial to increasing levels of productivity in my experience.
I also find it helpful to bring snacks to your study spot and take 30 minutes to have a meal as needed. I’ve gotten lost in my work only to realize that it is 10 p.m. and I haven’t had food since the early afternoon. Focus is needed while working, but so is staying on top of your health.
For some, the third thing I recommend is to change locations. After a while, I find myself bored and frustrated with the location I am studying in. I like to have a change of scenery and when it is possible, I move locations after a few hours. Having a favorite study spot is not a bad thing — what works for you may not work for me but I know that I can refocus after I find a new place to study and complete my work.
Lastly, I would recommend taking time off from working to see friends and of course, sleep. Social interaction is a great way to take your mind off of the work and to recenter your focus. Just talking with a friend for 30 minutes can change a lot in my opinion.
Additionally, I cannot stress enough the importance of getting enough sleep in the coming weeks. I know that there is a lot of work to be done and not enough time to complete it, but the more sleep you get the better off you will be both mentally and physically. It is important to take care of your health and not let it slide through the cracks during exams.