It is almost the end of the term

How to cope with exams and assignments

It can be a bit  ironic to hear “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” given that it is notoriously a difficult time for students to balance personal life, work, and school, especially with exams, final projects, essays, holiday shopping, and everything else we have going on in our busy lives. With the exam season in full swing, and everything piling up, it can be good to remind oneself about  the benefits of self care, and how to best engage in self-care with so many responsibilities on your plate.

Scheduling is perhaps the biggest issue during exam season. Now might not be the best time to test out every different method of time management out there, but it may be the time to try at least one or two new methods, if only for a few hours. There are a great many time-keeping techniques to choose from. Perhaps it may help to create a schedule, for example: focus on readings for one hour, focus on an essay for three, spend two hours with friends, and so on. Everyone is different. Maybe  this method does not help, and you find it best to devote specific days to specific tasks, or perhaps you would rather avoid a schedule and opt for a less controlled, go-with-the-flow approach to your assignments. It should be noted that the latter is  less about hoping for the best while doing the bare minimum, and more about honing in on the particular subject you find yourself most able to focus on in that moment, and carrying on from there.

Water is a necessity of life, and  incredibly necessary during the time of year when students begin chugging more energy drinks than they get hours of sleep. Of course, energy drinks have their use and can be helpful during late nights, but water helps your body in more ways than you may know: from allowing you to feel more awake and well rested, to helping your body feel less in pain from the hours you spend working on your assignments from your not-so-comfortable desk. It relieves headaches, lubricates joints, and helps you focus. Whether studying, partying, or anything in between,, you should absolutely consider intentionally drinking more water.

Olivia Haill – Argosy Illustrator

Spending time with your friends offers a much-needed respite from  stressful study breaks, and while it can be scary trying to regulate how much time you spend with friends compared to how much time you spend studying, there are ways that you and your friends can help yourselves get a break and get ahead. You can study with your friends and help each other out on projects, or you could body double and have someone in the room, working on their own studies, without speaking  to you. If you do not want to study with friends and instead want to socialize, that is also a helpful way to recalibrate your brain and let loose before getting back to work. Sometimes what we need is to heed the words of the Beatles, and get by with a little help from our friends.

Other tips and tricks include  music and playlists, taking walks, and finding new study spaces.. Having the perfect playlist could be the key to unlocking your study momentum, and a solid sleep schedule could go a long way towards making you feel healthy enough to continue working. Taking walks could help give you the distance and headspace you need to get over writers’ block, and studying someplace outside of your room or your usual work environment may also give you the distance needed to tackle a new perspective in your essays. There are many other methods you can use to get through exams, and unfortunately, there is no one right way to take care of yourself. Ultimately, no matter what you do, the way you handle your time is entirely up to you, and you know your limits and abilities best. The best thing you can do for yourself is to believe in your capabilities and to trust that you understand your needs. To all Mt. A students, good luck with the end of this term, and may your holiday season be fun and enjoyable!

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