Finals are just around the corner and may even have started for some students. As we all buckle down for the next couple of weeks, we all know keeping ourselves on top of it can be difficult at times. Work, family, friends, and so many other external factors can play a role in keeping yourself on top of schoolwork and can distract you from your goals, even when it’s vital to direct all of your energy into one thing. Here are 5 tips to get that motivation to study, ace your finals, and end the semester on a high note.
1) Take a moment
First things first, re-center yourself and your priorities. Finals mean that school is almost out and summer is around the corner, which can make it tempting to give up. Take a moment to reflect on the work you have put in this semester, and remember that this is a crucial step toward your end goal of getting your degree. Remember why you are at school in the first place, and remember the dreams you want to achieve beyond school. Take a moment to breathe and clear your mind. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. Everyone does. Remember that this is temporary and you will make it through. Take as many of these breaks as needed.
2) Schedule and organize
Now that you’ve taken a moment to breathe and relax, it’s time to make sure you are using your time wisely. Sit down and plan each hour of your day for the duration of your finals. Start by adding your actual final exams and the exact time frames you will need to complete them. Then fill in the empty time slots for studying, eating, breaks, exercise, or whatever you feel necessary for success. Check test descriptions in advance to make sure you are fully prepared. This will allow you to remove the stress surrounding time and help you to focus on other important factors for success.
Hear me out. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. Studies have shown time and time again that exercise improves memory and expands your ability to think. Both of these functions are arguably the most crucial parts of our mind that we utilize when it comes to taking a final. Exercise is good for your body, too, and can be a great break from studying. Everyone likes to exercise differently, and some people might not even know where to start, so here are some ideas: Go for a hike, swim laps at the nearest pool, walk around your neighborhood, go for a run at a park you like, go to the gym, or try some yoga in your living room.
4) Eat right
In addition to exercise, eating right is also going to help you in reaching your fullest potential during finals. Like exercise, studies show that eating certain foods can also improve brain functions. Some of the most common foods that could work great as a meal or snack for Finals Week include avocado, broccoli, leafy greens, eggs, salmon, walnuts, and even dark chocolate. Eating more of these foods as well as other healthy foods is going to improve the health of your mind and also your body. If you don’t cook, try finding a place to eat that offers healthier food options. Taking care of yourself is the first step to being successful in other aspects of your life.
5) Reward yourself
At this point, you have been working hard for a while. Set goals for each day or whatever works for you and reward yourself for completing your goal. You are not required to finish finals to reward yourself unless you want to. Maybe a reward means a break or maybe it means you get some social time with friends. Whatever feels right for you. These rewards can help lessen burnout and give you the motivation you need to attain the goals you’ve been working so hard to achieve.
Kade Schweitzer is a Pre-Business student at the David Eccles School of Business. He currently serves as an intern for the Marketing + Communications team.