Mid-term exams are coming up, my first one is at the end of next week. I admit spending the last week or two freaking out and having a mental breakdown. Did it help me prepare for exams? Did it help with stress or did it push me back even further? Did it put me behind in my school work? I believe we will all come to the same conclusions on those questions.
Here is some important information to help you cope with exams!
One. Health and Sleep
I can already feel people rolling their eyes and sighing saying ‘Yeah Yeah, eat healthy, drink water, get sleep. We know! We know!’. Yet I still see a flood of school kids come through my work during exam week, rubbing their eyes, hair disheveled while they purchase sweets and a four pack of Red Bull. Studies have shown (and I know from experience) that smarter studying and sleep are far more beneficial for retaining information than all-nighters. Eat your vegetables, protein and lots of greens. Eat lots of small meals during the day instead of three big meals. In the afternoons, whether it’s raining or sunny, cold and wet, go for a walk. 10 minutes or an hour or even down the road and back, get fresh air and take your water with you.
Here is an interesting video on Homeostasis in the human body. It explains how consuming high amounts of sugar can send our bodies crashing during exam study and what better options we can take.
Water will help your brain to keep clear and retain information and won’t crash your body. Plus getting up to pee constantly will give you breaks while studying. If you have trouble drinking water, keep a bottle or glass of water next to you while you study, for every paragraph, take a mouthful and before you know it, gone! Once your body gets used of drinking water, it will start craving it. If you starting this habit now, you will wake up exam morning with a clear mind, glowing skin and a hydrated body.
If you are one of these people who doesn’t enjoy water, I have something for you. Say hello to the world of infused waters…
People are going crazy with infused water. I see it everywhere, even in restaurants. I love it! I stuff my water bottle full of fruit, veges or herbs, I carry it around and drink it. The fruit and veges must be cut and berried squashed to infuse the water. I refill mine during the day a few times then scoop it out and eat it all. Be careful about leaving it out too long. I make mine the night before and put it in the fridge. If I’m at work and not going to be drinking for a while or I have refilled it, I’ll put it back in the fridge. It is food, so don’t leave it sitting on your desk in the sun for hours and then drink or eat the yummies insides and always refresh the fruit, veges and herbs daily.
Here is a photograph of my favorite one. Different berries and mint leaves! I made up four and drunk two a day, refilling them twice.
Now that we have nourished, hydrated and rested our body, we can move on to the next important thing.
Three. Study Plan
If you have kept up with the work so far this year, you should only need revising. If you are behind in your work and assignments, DO NOT SIT THERE IN A DAZED PANIC!!! Worry, stress and panic will not help and you don’t want to add those three to your already heavy load. Here is what you are going to do:
1. Calmly write down what needs to be done
2. Make a REALISTIC plan on how you are going to achieve them
3. Apply the 50/10 rule (Coming up)
4. Put your head down, be focus and be creative
5. Don’t forget to eat, sleep and drink water
When revising, improvise. You need to revise for Chemistry on the topic of Equilibrium? Go through your notes and create flash cards, your own questions and answers and watch Equilibrium videos on YouTube. Using the different types of learning available will help your brain be alert instead of revising the same notes over and over again.
This has been a huge help for me and helps me to retain information and stops my brain from frying from forced hours and hours of study. The rule is: 50 minutes solid study, 10 minutes break x three, then an hour break. In that 10 minutes you are not allowed, under any circumstances, to check your Facebook, Instagram, email, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube and defiantly do not call your mother. We all know you can never get off the phone with mothers. In the 10 minute break it’s advised to keep your mind busy still by doing some dishes or take out the trash, make your bed or wipe down the benches in your bathroom or kitchen. By the end of your study session, you will have a tidy house/apartment/room which equals a fresh and calm mind. In the hour break you can check social media and watch Vines on YouTube. Make sure you set an alarm to get right back into it after an hour.
Motivation is different for everyone. Some people love it, some people hate it and for others it doesn’t do anything for them. I’m one of the lovers of motivation BUT I’m very picky about my motivators as I don’t always agree with the tactics they use.
My favorite form of motivation is pictures and images from Instagram and Pinterest. I have two channels I watch on YouTube and I have affirmations on my phone which I read every morning. You may think that it’s silly and may feel silly reading them out, but do them for a month (or even a week as long as you are believing what you are reading) and see how your thinking and thoughts change. You may be very surprised how you feel. Here are some of my favorite picture ones that I follow on Instagram and read every morning. These are mainly ‘Motivation to be millionaires’ which is not my goal in the slightest, but i use it to motivate me towards my own goals.
If you would like to follow any of these on Instagram, here are their usernames:
Seven. Not the end of the world.
Mid-terms are not the end of the world. All you can do is try your best, work hard and smart and learn from your mistakes. If you completely failed an exam ask yourself:
Did I put enough work in to this subject?
Am I understanding this subject?
Is there a different way I can learn?
Then say that you will work extra hard and it will pay off when end of year exams comes. Don’t beat yourself up over it. if you didn’t put in enough time in and you slacked off, own up to it to yourself and make the choice to do better.
Teachers act like everything is the end of the world. You fail or don’t do good in one test and they make out like you won’t past the year. Teachers are meant to be there to help and guide us which is true… some of the time. Learn to know what teachers are passionate and helpful and which ones are not. For the ones that are not, take their negativity and ‘non-helpfulness’ with a bucket of table salt and just get the work done on your own. I have one very ‘non-helpful’ teacher this year and two semi ‘non-helpful’. I take the work and learn it on my own, because even when you ask for help they don’t give it. It’s pathetic because they are suppose to be TEACHING, but as always I look for the positive and benefits in every situation. Taking the work and having to learn it by myself has made me far more independent and disciplined as a student and I know it will greatly benefit me in the future. I would like to mention I have two teachers who are always readying to jump to help you in anyway. Unfortunately, they are subjects I can manage on my own.
Nine. A small portion of your world
Primary school, high school, college and university do not last forever. They are there for a small portion of your life. So have fun, enjoy these times and allow yourself to be taught, learn and have experiences. When you are tired, can’t be bothered and consider dropping out, I want you to think of the millions of people around the world you would love to go to school, who would love to learn to read and write and who would love to get an education to have a successful career. Don’t ever forget how lucky we are for the opportunities we are given. .