By Ava Kesler
As the end of the school year (finally) approaches, we are all getting a little jumpy. June never seemed closer, when summer, the beach, friends, and late nights are just within reach, while at the same time, the daunting weeks of exams that fill the month of May dooms ahead. Keep reading to see how to get through this tumultuous time, and how you can finish the year strong in order to have the best summer yet!
Keep a Schedule
Have a dedicated planner where you can keep track of all your tests and study plans. I like to color code mine by subject in a monthly layout, but you can try a variety of different ways to find the best that works for you.
In terms of what exactly to put on your schedule, I recommend starting by researching how to prepare for your particular class, whether that be AP exams or your GCSE's. Generally, the basic study plan consists of reviewing notes and taking practice exams. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to prepare ahead of the game. I suggest clearing the week prior to the exam in case you end up falling behind, so you have a backup plan, but also so that you can regroup and only focus on mentally preparing yourself for your exam.
The main thing that keeps us from being disciplined is any distraction- a phone, friends, video games. While these things are important, they are also very easy to fall onto when we feel stressed. Like an outlet, they allow us to escape from the stress of exam season, and it is important to have this in our lives. However, in too large quantities, which often happens when we are so stressed, they can distract us and throw us way off track.
To avoid such a problem, make a specified relaxation time. In other words, dedicate only a certain time/day for such distractions. For example, you can promise yourself to only check Instagram from 4:00-4:30pm to unwind after school, and 7:45-8:00pm before bed.
So many times we tell ourselves that we'll just check social media for a minute or two, and without fail we end up scrolling for hours, only to find ourselves scrambling to do our work at midnight. Looking back at the day, the issue clearly stems from distractions like our phones.
But by having a specified free time, we are able to put more energy into both being more efficient on social media or with our friends, while also giving us something to look forward to during studying.
It works the same way as it does at school. We know that as soon as it is lunch time or when the last bell rings, we'll be free, and that keeps us going throughout the whole day. So by giving yourself a certain time to relax, you can recreate this efficient dynamic.
It is so easy to fall into the trap of no motivation. But you must keep it together and make all the previous struggles of the year worth it by showing how much you have learned both in terms of material by acing your exam and also in terms of simply being more collected and productive from everything you have learned from yourself as a person.
My number 1 tip for preventing the study blues from getting to you, is to sleep. When we become sleep deprived, everything is completely out of proportions.
Whenever you have a spare moment, just go take a nap. And by napping, I don't mean scrolling online all day just to "unwind."
If you are going to take a nap, the only reason you should be taking your phone with you is to set an alarm to wake up.
Make sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night, and anytime you feel groggy, just make a note of it and try your best to get more rest.
I know that sleeping might feel like you aren't doing anything productive, but honestly, it's the best kind of productivity you can ever do. There are countless studies out there that you can find about how much regeneration your body and brain undergoes during sleep. And I don't need any scientific studies to tell you how much more efficient I am at my homework and how much better life seems after I take a nap.
So anytime it gets a little rough during this exam season, just breathe, sleep it out, and get back in the zone.
All of you are such amazing students, and I know that you will do amazing in exams this year! Keep on pushing through! You've made it this far, you will keep on going!
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