This time of year tends to be a busy time for post-secondary students who are struggling to cram for their upcoming exams and are also coping with an overbearing workload. There is no denying that students are faced with a lot of pressure as the summer days are now long behind us, and the school year has picked up quite rapidly. In the midst of essay deadlines and exam prep, many students find themselves falling into unhealthy habits and stressful routines, which are detrimental to their mental health. Although you might feel like you have a lot on your plate, it is extremely important to cope with the pressure in a wholesome manner and ultimately take care of your own well-being. Real Style has a few tips to help students beat the exam blues and successfully get through the nerve-racking times ahead.
Maintain a Balance
As a student, this chapter of your life is challenging, yet exciting, and gives you a true taste of independence. Although your grades are without a doubt important, the post-secondary experience is also about building character, making connections and allowing yourself to grow. If you maintain a balanced regime throughout the semester, you should not have to put too much pressure on yourself when it comes exam time. A studious routine helps you stay on track, while also giving you the leverage to try new things, be spontaneous and take full advantage of the people around you. With so much seemingly at stake, students tend to be too hard on themselves, often believing that their entire future relies on their grades. However, it is important to remember that your grades are not the be-all-end-all; while also considering academic achievements, many employers seek out candidates with transferable skills, positive attitudes and a range of unique social experiences.
According to a number of studies, psychologists say that an average human can only concentrate properly for 30 to 45 minutes. Therefore, it is important to work within timely intervals and give yourself breaks for fresh air or a snack. Many students attempt to study in one spot for hours on end, but physically moving away from the desk and factoring time to relax could improve the quality of work. Although spending countless hours in the library might sound like a good plan, it is actually counterproductive and could be extremely challenging to stay focused. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting ridiculous goals for yourself and expecting to retain ten units of coursework in one day. Schedule your study sessions responsibly, take things at a healthy pace and don’t forget to give yourself some time to unwind. The brain needs time to process information, so taking a break does not mean you’re slacking, and pulling all-nighters will not do you any good.
Measures to Stay Healthy
Although the typical student diet may consist of pizza, instant noodles and plenty of alcohol consumption, a healthy diet and fitness routine are key to attaining good grades. It is obvious that these are not the healthiest ways to nourish yourself, so it is crucial to make sensible food choices and be mindful of what you are replenishing your body with. You can avoid the “freshman 15” by steering clear of the unwavering row of fast food joints in your student centre, and by enjoying a homemade meal instead. Of course, it is okay to treat yourself, but your brain needs a sufficient serving of proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and veggies in order to function efficiently. Your mental health is strongly associated with your physical well-being, and exercise is one of the quickest and most effective ways to relieve stress. Take advantage of the free access to your school gym, as it truly helps sweat out your anxieties. Whether you are into yoga or prefer to go for a relaxing stroll, exercise helps release endorphins, keeping your mind and body from crashing after a stressful day of studying.
You’re Not Alone
It is a stressful time for everybody, so if you are having difficulty coping, it could be extremely beneficial to talk to someone and reach out for help. Whether it is your friend, parent or academic counselor, building a strong support network offers perspective and relief. Open dialogues about mental health are of great importance, as it can help reduce the stigma that it is often associated with. Instead of isolating yourself during stressful times, try studying with a classmate, while also discussing constructive strategies and making practical goals. Don’t allow yourself to be overwhelmed with your thoughts, talk and listen to others, as it could truly reduce your level of anxiety.