Summer is at your fingertips and it’s hard to concentrate on schoolwork. On top of that, you’re exhausted from the hectic year and focusing on finals is the last thing you want to do.
This is the hardest part of the year to battle because your three months of freedom are right around the corner. Here are a few tips to help you stay balanced and get you through the last few weeks:
1. Go Outside
There’s nothing much better than fresh air (no matter how warm or cool), to reinvigorate your senses when you’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or just sad. Get out and absorb some Vitamin D, and get happy doing it.
The sun’s rays have a calming and rejuvenating effect on us, so why not take advantage of a beautiful day by taking a walk, jog, run, or even a nap outside? Taking your study materials outdoors and getting some work done among nature isn’t a bad idea either. Work on your tan and get some studying done at the same time. I can’t think of a better way to multi-task.
2. Eat Healthfully
Easier said than done, right? It’s challenging to maintain a healthy diet when you’re stressed and studying for exams. Often, fast food, sugary, and salty, unhealthy snacks are the first go-to. Why? Because there’s something inherently comforting about them.
Well, we’re comfortable for awhile, until the digestion process gets underway. Stay mindful of your snacking tendencies if you’re making a conscious effort to maintain a healthy diet.Watching portion sizes is a great way to keep the calories down.
Try to stay away from sugary drinks as well. They’ll give you that instant boost of energy you need, but then you’ll slowly crash. Water is the best go-to for staying hydrated. If you can substitute water for all caffeinated drinks also, you’re golden.
3. Be Active
Exercising is one of the best things you can do for yourself when you’re not busy with your head in the books. It may seem counter-intuitive, taking time away from studying and using it to do something recreational, but it’ll do your body good.
When you exercise, you’re building endorphins that will naturally improve your energy level and contribute to your general well-being. Besides, it’s good to take breaks and get as far away from your school stuff as possible. You can return refreshed and ready to work.
Try jogging, walking, or yoga. However you decide to stay active, completely clear your thoughts of anything remotely stressful. The point is totay mindful and in the moment so you can make the most of it.
4. No More Unhealthy Habits
Try to cut back on caffeine. One cup of coffee or caffeinated tea a day is okay, but anymore than that and you could be asking for trouble. When you overdo it on caffeine, you actually become agitated, and as a result inadvertently elevate your stress levels.
You’ll be a little moody and might feel the need to keep the coffee/tea flowing just so you can stay ahead of it. If you find yourself drinking multiple cups a day, start skimming it back now, perhaps by half a cup every few days. There are many alternatives to caffeine.
Alcohol can also become a problem if you normally have a high intake level. Try to cut back on drinking the weekend before a big test. This will help keep your mind focused and clear to perform to the best of your ability.
Whether your grades are suffering or you’re doing fabulously in school, prioritize your schedule so you can stay ahead of it. This might mean developing a schedule with approximate timing of your classes, study time, extracurricular time, etc.
If it seems like you might have to cut back in some ways because your classes are so demanding, consider trimming down the extracurricular activities. For example, if you’ve joined a sorority, are in a club, and play a sport, you might want to think about which is the most important and cut out the others.
6. Be Good to Yourself
Let’s face it, we all love rewards. Sometimes they’re that much more satisfying when we’ve found a way to reward ourselves. So, why not do it? Develop several times during the year (or, in this case, the next few weeks), where you can give yourself something (e.g. massage, shopping, lazy time, etc.) for achieving a goal.
This will help make the end goal seem that much closer, because you are getting something tangible for your progress. It’s motivating and will probably help you get through the stretch.
7. Find a Buddy
Do you ever feel that having a buddy would make it so much more enjoyable and motivating to go to the gym? Well, consider the buddy system for getting through the last few weeks of school (or during the regular school year if you need it).
Your buddy will hold you accountable to certain things, and you will do the same for your buddy. You can organize group studies, keep each other honest about going to class, and plan a mini party for yourselves for when you finish. A loyal buddy will do wonders for your morale and motivation.
8. Don’t Forget Why You’re There
You’re in college to graduate. Remember that the hard work will pay off, and if you put in a 100% effort to do well, that’s all you can ask for. If it helps to have a checklist to get things done, do it.
If it helps to keep a calendar of things you need to do for each class on any given day, do it. Bottom line, do whatever it takes to walk off that campus with a college degree.
Got any more tips for us and your fellow peers? Share them on our Facebook page!