Stress: Less Is More During Finals
Final exams and projects are coming up fast but that does not mean you have to put excessive stress on yourself. While these final assignments may make up a large portion of your grade, it is best to take them on with a cool collected head. The last thing you want to do is stress yourself out of that good grade.
Stress is our body’s physiological response to life’s events. It is inevitable and not always a bad thing. Stress helps us study for finals, prep for those presentations, and even adventure out and try something new. When we don’t manage our stress, that is when it becomes bad.
To help manage the amount of stress you feel try one of these tips before your next exam or project.
While it may not be easy to find the motivation, start studying well ahead of time to ease yourself into the material at an even pace and allow yourself time to comprehend all that the content covered. Studies show that studying over time greatly improves your knowledge and critical thinking skills as opposed to cramming right before the test.
To build on studying ahead of time, sleeping on information helps your brain handle information immensely. Whether you are learning new information or reviewing old information, your brain now has the hours of sleep to process and hold onto that knowledge. Napping for as little as 30 minutes has also been found to boost brain power and material retention, but for the most effective method of retaining new information you should get a good night’s sleep.
Take breaks that help divide the study session. While you are sitting down for a long period of time looking through notes or at a computer screen, be sure to step away for 5-10 minutes as this can allow your brain time to relax and process the information it has just reviewed. Aim for a break every hour to an hour and a half.
Try listening to music. While for some, listening to music may be distracting, it has been found to help your mind focus on the content you are studying. An added benefit is that the music also acts as a relaxation technique and calms your brain and body. Still, studying with music has had different effects depending on the person and the material you wish to know. Try out different genres depending on what you are working on.
Effectively studying can relieve additional stress you feel during college but especially during finals week. To close out the semester strong,