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5 ways to be AWESOME this exam period!

By Grace McCabe, 4th-year English major

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again…that time in the semester when you are scrambling to get multiple assignments and final papers completed, keep up with readings and all the while, you have that nagging voice in the back of your mind that’s telling you, “You better start getting ready for exams!” How are you supposed to keep it all together at such a busy time? Here are a few tips on how you can start getting ready for final exams at this point in the semester:

1. Get the big picture

If you haven’t already made a calendar that lets you see all your due dates and exam dates, now is the time to do so. By looking at all of your deadlines, you can start to make an exam study schedule and this will carry you from the last week of classes straight into exam period. Organization at this time of year (and all year) is key, and a calendar will help you manage your time.

2. Make a study schedule

Speaking of calendars…The Peer Learning Assistants give out the most AMAZING April Exam Study Schedules, and it just so happens that we are giving them away this Friday! This template is golden! Stop by Stauffer Room 121 and let the PLA’s show you this awesome study tool! I promise, you will be excited to plan your study time with this schedule!

3. Make a plan

Now that you have your study schedule, you can start planning what you need to do and when. The sooner you start gathering your lecture notes, or the sooner you start those final lab reports, assignments, and essays, the better. I know you hear this from your profs, TA’s and parents ALL the time, but it’s the best way to prevent yourself from getting stuck in a time crunch at the end of the semester or exam period and will help avoid cramming. Speaking from experience, starting a 10-page research paper 3 day before its due is no fun at all. Start early, my friends! Avoid extra stress at all costs!

4. Manage your stress

While we’re on the topic of stress, it is crucial that you take care of yourself during this time. When making your study schedule, make sure you are including breaks for things like exercise (hopefully some warmer weather will make going outside for a walk an option soon!), having dinner with a friend, going grocery shopping or doing laundry. Plan for the little things and make sure you are tending to personal needs. Schedule in bedtime too! Sleep is your best friend, especially during exams! Stay healthy and try to minimize extra stress by doing things for yourself.

5. Think positive thoughts

In the midst of the chaos and craziness of the last few weeks of the semester, it’s important to motivate yourself in any way possible. A few ways to do that are by using positive self-talk. Say out loud to yourself, “I can do this. I am prepared. I did really good work today!” Be kind and gentle to yourself! Keep those positive thoughts flowing to help you get through this busy period!

I am closing this blog post with a quote I came across the other day that I know I will hang onto for this exam period. I hope in sharing it with all of you reading this that you will remember these words when you feel like you just cannot keep going another day and realize how strong and resilient you actually are:

 “ If you are reading this, you have survived your entire life up until this point.

You have survived traumas, heartbreak, devastations, and all the different phases of life.

And here you are.

You’re awesome.”

We all need to be reminded sometimes of our awesomeness. Be awesome this exam period. You are awesome for getting to this point and you will continue to be awesome today, and every other day!

Photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn under Flickr Creative Commons Attribution license 2.0.