Finals are here and it’s time to do something about it. The biggest obstacle at this point is the sense of overwhelming dread you feel when looking at the work cut out for you. Major projects are daunting at first, but it gets better when you make a structured plan. So take the time to structure how and when you’ll study. Breaking things down into smaller sections and having a generic plan reduces the overwhelming feeling of defeat when looking at a stack of unstudied material. Here are 7 things you can incorporate into your study plan.
1. Study Break
An integral part of studying is not studying. Some of us understand this a bit too well. But for the last minute crammers, remember that the mind needs an occasional break – or it will break. Stepping away from study work lets you reset a bit and lets the material soak in. I find that a 10-15 minute break every hour works well for me.
2. Smoke a bowl
We should all follow state and federal laws (wink!). Cannabis affects different people in different ways, but smoking a bowl is one way for some of us to de-stress. Those of us who know we don’t study well when high will not be finding that out for the first time this fall. So if cannabis works for you, then go for it. If not, don’t blame this article for helping you forget that cannabis and college don’t blend well when it comes to tests.
3. Take a short walk to the community forest
Taking a walk in our forests is something people travel the world to do. So if you’re one of the few who haven’t done so, interrupting your study sesh to change that is a great idea! Exposure to what we define as nature (parks, ocean and non-human built stuff) can change you by: decreasing stress, increasing focus and your sense of vitality and it can even boost creativity.
Just remember that mountain lions are most active at dawn and dusk. Although a mountain lion attack is a pretty good excuse to miss a final…
4. Study at the community forest or local beach
The weather this week is slated to be rather rain-free. This is a nice window to take your study gear to the outdoors, allowing you to do your work without missing the nice weather. You can reap all the above mentioned benefits of exposure to nature while studying! If you can make it out to the beach with your study gear, you should. There aren’t many colleges where you can drive 15 minutes to study on an empty gem of a beach. This gives you a two for one experience – you get a beach day and a study day.
5. Find your jam
I am bothered by the slightest of noises and I feel crazy for it. The person next to you needs to turn their page more quietly. Someone behind you is hitting their keyboard with hammer hands. You can hear someone breathing and it’s almost in harmony with the sniffle across the room. All of these noises are very normal, but also very agitating, so I carry headphones with me wherever I go. If it’s too noisy to focus, I find my jams and enter a wonderful world of music. I favor various YouTube mixes of an hour or more.
Here are a few different mixes that I study to:
Makes you feel like you’re holding Simba over the safari:
I feel like I’m at a rave:
6. Talk to your professor
It’s easy to build a persona around our professors, but believe it or not, professors are people too. If there’s an aspect of your final that freaks you out, try talking to your professor about it. They may be able to clarify something for you and alleviate some of your worries. They might also tell you you’re a complete failure, but wouldn’t you rather hear it from the source?
7. Check your perspective
What is most immediate often seems most pressing. But don’t fall prey to this logic, it’s not true. The finals before you might seem like they will determine your future, but that’s like saying you went to HSU, because your mom ate a burrito exactly 10 years before you were born. It doesn’t make sense. Finals are a small step in your infinite future. Although you might not pass a class if you fail, and even not graduate as a result – what happens next is anyone’s guess. A closed door is permission to tear down the walls – that’s something to be excited and optimistic about.