Finishing Strong

Updated: Mar 20

By Ava Kesler


We are making the final treks towards summer and freedom, and it is getting a little bit rough if you ask me. Keep reading for some tips to help you excel at your exams without running out of breath.


Take a Breather

In order to have a grand finish to the school year, you need to start off with a little break. If you have spring break soon, this is your perfect opportunity. Or you could take one night to just self-pamper. This might mean taking a warm bath and watching movies, or going to bed super early and just sleeping it through, or it could mean going for an intense bike ride! Just do whatever you want!


If you are forcing yourself to work nonstop, you will be distracted the whole time sadly thinking about all the other fun things you could be doing. So on a night when you don't have anything serious the next day, take a moment to just do whatever you want to do!


Make a Schedule

Now that you've gotten that out of your system, prepare for the next round of hard-core studying.


I suggest making a light schedule for the next few months.


For example, I made myself the goal to finish unit 4 of my online class by the start of spring break, and to finish unit 5 after spring break. For history class, I promised myself that I would take a practice AP exam today, and would work on my essay prompts this week. I also promised myself to read at least 100 pages a day every day during spring break in order to finish a big book for school.

As you can see, your schedule doesn't have to be meticulously planned out by the hour. You don't need fancy calligraphy and notebooks and calendars to make it happen. But you do need to do it. If you don't set goals for yourself, and just depend on what your teacher says is the minimum requirement to do, you won't reach as high results as you might want.

Again, everyone is different. But a huge part of being successful in school is making manageable goals in bite-sized pieces.



Be Aware of Yourself

An important aspect of not burning out is getting to know yourself. I know this might sound weird, but it is absolutely crucial.


Be aware of the signs that you are getting tired. If homework is starting to feel like a drag, then just put it off (Unless the deadline is the next day, in which case you really should just get it done).


But if you aren't in the right mindset to work, you won't produce the results you were hoping to.


The signs I recognize in myself when I get this way are annoyance at everything anyone says to me, irritation if it is too bright outside, discomfort, or the need to scroll Instagram or YouTube. When this happens I know that something is off. My strategy for dealing with this is:

  1. Drink a cold glass of water.

  2. Rinse your face with cold water.

  3. Eat a bowl of fruit.

  4. Do a light 1 minute stretch.

  5. Shake it out.

  6. Open and close your jaw and move your face around to get the blood flowing.

  7. Drink more of that water.

  8. Put away your distractions (phone, TV, etc.)

  9. Look at your planner and choose an assignment to tackle.

  10. Sit up at your desk like you're in public.

This is my many-times-proven way to deal with those yucky feelings when nothing seems to be going right and exams never felt closer.


I highly suggest you try out my steps and change them up to fit your needs. I never wrote down these steps until making this article, but I now see the value in having this lovely list to get me back on track.

You could even write it out on a little sticky note to put on your desk, or in your binder, as inspiration to study.


15 Minutes of Fun Time

Besides the little breaks you take in between assignments, choose a time in which you can take a longer breather. This could be anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour, but however long you choose it to be, I recommend that you give it a set time. For example, from 4:00-4:30pm, I will take my break. This way, I will be more encouraged to finish as much homework as possible by 4:00pm, the set interval will prevent me getting off task for too long, and the little break will help me get back to work happier and more efficient than before!


Work around your schedule and do this in the best possible way for you, and eventually you will just find a combination that works the best!




 

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