We’ve all been there, exam period is right around the corner and we should actually study but instead we’re re-watching all of the Games of Thrones episodes or we’re trapped in the big dark holes of YouTube or Tumblr. And let’s face it everything is more interesting than learning about how you multiply pi to sin to tan to whatever or that Napoleon was once attracted to rabbits (this is actually a real fact, not just made up by me!!!). So there is this one time, where you realize you kinda fucked up and you should really study and you get stressed. Or unlike me you’re super organized (hands down to you!) and you actually started revising early enough but still get stressed because you trapped inside studying whilst the sun outside is shinning. So for that case, here are a few tips I like to do when, once again, I’m getting stressed.
1. Do some exercise
I know, I know this might sound stupid, but think about it. All day long you have been locked up behind a screen, a desk or in the library and there’s nothing more satisfying than do some exercise at the end of the day. It doesn’t matter if you train for your next marathon, go to your local gym, go to the pool, take any lessons in yoga, zumba, pilates or whatever floats your boat or you go on a lovely walk with a friend or just on your own with some music. Just do whatever feels best for you, the important thing is to get outside and enjoy yourself for a certain amount of time. You’ll see you’ll feel better afterwards.
Sure you exercised your brain the whole day but your body needs it as much as your brain does. Your body even needs exercise that your brain can fully work!
I don’t know about you but when I study for a subject I always need some sweets so I can concentrate. I think it’s no news to you that sweets are actually quite bad for yourself. So what I like to do is to grab some fruits, cut them into bit size bits, put them into a bowl and use that as my substitute for sweets. It works just as well as any sweets does and it even is good for you. Once I watched football with my brother I even discovered that mini carrots are a great alternative as well. Next time try and snack on them or on fruit and you’ll see your brain needs to munch on anything to concentrate better, doesn’t matter if that’s fruit, vegs or sweets.
3. Drink enough liquids
Going hand in hand with the snacks, to drink enough is super important when you’re using your brain. Your brain can only totally function when it has enough liquid and you’ll see if it hasn’t you can’t concentrate as much plus not as long as when you drank enough. If you’re like me and you never drink enough just make drinking part of a game. Take a big glass, fill it up and tell yourself that you have to finish it by the end of the page or until the end of the subject. You also can take water and put in any flavour you like. So for example but in some sliced lemon or frozen berries or mint with a bit of celery and ginger, tastes super nice and makes you drink way more than just plain water.
Always give yourself some rewards so you actually are studying or if you have to learn stupid, boring things you couldn’t care less about, so you actually manage to make it through. Tell yourself that once you learnt two pages you get another piece of fruit, when you finished the next chapter of reading and writing down the important fact you can go to your phone for 10 minutes (we all know this is a dangerous reward but set yourself a timer and actually stop after 10 min) or once you learnt the next 20 French vocab you can go outside and lay in the sun getting an amazing tan. You need to find something you can look forward, make you actually study so you can get though all of it but it isn’t something that you rush studying and in the end you did learn nothing at all.
5. Learn pattern
For me it’s always super helpful if I have a plan how my day is structured and I study on certain times. So for example before I actually start with studying I make myself a list with what subject I study for at which day and when my exams are. So I know that for example on Monday I have to study for Maths and English, on Tuesday I go over everything I studied on Monday (repeating everything is super important, that’s how your brain can remember things!) and than I study for History and RE, on Wednesday I go over all the things from Monday again so I make sure I really know these things now, repeat everything from Tuesday again and than I study for Maths and French. And so on. For me it’s also extremely important to know when I have to sit down and do things and when I have free time. So I get up at 8am get ready and have breakfast until 9am, then I study until lunchtime (around 1pm or 2pm, depending on how far I came) and then study for around another 2 hours and I’m off for the day. It’s important that you don’t try to learn too much on one day and you have little breaks in between or you and your brain will go mad after a while (believe me I had this occasions a few times ;)).
6. Free time
As you can see my ‘studying day’ finishes at around 3 or 4pm which is actually quite early for some people but if you think realistically it isn’t. You studied for around 6 hours and honestly your brain couldn’t handle more than that. Beside of studying you also need to make sure you have enough time to see your friends, do all you hobbies and just relax for a bit. It doesn’t help you nor your concentration level if you try to study for like 10 hours straight without giving yourself some breaks or some free time. In this time you need to do fun stuff and things you enjoy so you can really efficiently study. It really doesn’t help you if you totally forget your friends in this time or you neglect all of your interests. Surely studying is important to get good grades which are important to get a good you or be able to go to uni or whatever but going totally mad because of learning isn’t helping you either and also not your friends if they feel left out or ignored. It’s important to find a good balance for yourself.
7. Music and dance breaks
When you have your little breaks in between learning I can only advise to grab your iPod, your phone, laptop or whatever turn on some music (preferably extremely loud of course) and dance around in your room and sing along to it. This will help you to forget the stupid maths exercise you can’t solve or the stupid French vocab you just can’t remember. Give yourself a break, do a bit of physical exercise and also do something you like for 10 minutes and let’s be real here, everybody likes to turn on some music and dance around like a crazy person it’s just therapeutic.
Once you studied all day and your head feels like it’s going to explode, just relax. Proper pamper yourself. Get everything together, have a bath, put on a face mask, play some relaxing music, light some candles, put on a hair mask or whatever you like to do when you pamper yourself. Have some me-time. This is as important as studying and seeing your friends and family. Just fully calm down and forget the madness of your life for a few minutes.
9. Grades aren’t everything
Yes, everybody always talked about that grades are super important and you need good grades to get a good job and get into a good university and life is about learning and be the best and blahblahblah. Honestly it isn’t. Sure if you want to go to University you need good grades and everything but it never should take over your life completely because this way you do not learn efficiently and probably lose all of your friends. And those are as important as grades. Once you’re in University you soon will find out that everything is different anyway. Of course having good marks is still important and obviously you want to have good marks because you (hopefully) studying something you are interested in, but here you also realize that having connections and internships and stuff like this is as important as marks.
So relax, no mark can ever define who you are and never will. Studying is of course important but it isn’t the end of the world if you’re also having fun in the time you have to learn all these stupid things you probably will never ever use again in your life.
So I’m off now finishing binge watching all of the videos of my YouTuber fav of this Wednesday (stay tuned for who it is ;)) and think about how I will survive my exam on next Wednesday, tomorrow.
Lots of love,