Twelve kettles of tea, three hours of sleep and one hundred typed and instantly untyped introductions later…and still I’m left with nothing but a blank page to show for my efforts. Ah, feels like the looming final stretch before our (all-too-dreaded) exams. As a person who doesn’t deal with stress well, I’ll tell you that I’m in a domestic partnership with the feelings of sorrow and incompetence that come along with those last minute term papers and the hours of studying right before – and only right before – a big test. Is it healthy? Probably not. Still, I find myself getting so stressed out that I can’t bring myself to tackle any of my assignments, thus becoming more stressed because I haven’t been doing them. It’s like one, big, continuous cycle – a cycle that you ought to break.
As an expert in the field of narrowly making deadlines – not to mention turning all (otherwise uninteresting) things into a procrastination smorgasbord – I’m going to take a minute to preach to the choir here, and together we’ll learn just how to break up with our end-of-semester woes.
Tackle One Assignment at a Time
I’m a huge stickler for trying to do everything at once, because let’s face it, I didn’t leave myself enough time to focus on my assignments individually. Don’t do that. Take a look at the syllabuses you’ve been provided with, and be strategic about the assignments you choose to work on now, as well as the ones you leave for later. Always look at the due date first, and try to finish each assignment at least one week prior to when your professor wants it completed. This way you have time to edit, add any last minute ideas, and get a peer (or two) to review your work. Now you’ll have plenty of time to relax when the due date approaches, and you won’t feel nearly as anxious about your paper.
Focus on What You Can Control
Did you fail a test? An assignment? Is your average below where you expected it to be? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, I’m sorry. Take a moment to be upset, assess what you could have done better, and move on. There’s no sense in stressing about what you can’t change, and honestly, your heart will feel a thousand times lighter if you learn from your mistakes, and then let go.
Don’t Forget to Check in With What Makes You Happy
Sometimes, as students, we do so much studying (or simply stressing) that we forget to nourish the things that make us feel truly human. Call your parents, take a hike, or send a quick email to your best friend or significant other! Taking a break from school for an hour and catching up with your favourite activity (or person) is sometimes the best remedy for a stressed out student. Not to mention that a short distraction is just what your brain needs in order to stay focused during the long hours of studying ahead of you.
Be Sure to Plan a Group Study
Honestly? We all need a little help sometimes. Gathering a group of your peers together is a great idea! You can bounce ideas off of each other, or simply quiz one another on the terms you’ll find on the upcoming test. Whatever the reason, just getting out of the confines of your bedroom and interacting with others – even if it’s just about school – is the best way to uplift your spirits, and calm your anxieties. After all, at Nipissing we’re a family. You never have to suffer through your coursework alone.
So, don’t let those pre-exam blues get you down. You’ve been working your hardest all semester, and you’ve tackled so many obstacles just to get here. Sure, things don’t always go as planned…but don’t stress. You’ll figure it out.