Well, well, well, look who’s finally decided to show her face around the blogosphere again…me. October and November are busy months, especially for students. With midterms just ending and finals around the corner, I’ve had to put my own tips and tricks to surviving these busy weeks to use, and I thought I’d share them. If you’re in need of advice on how to keep organized and on schedule during school, I hope these help!
Write it down
My number one trick to staying on schedule is writing everything down, and writing it down more than once. I use my iCalendar like it’s going out of style, as well as an agenda I can carry around with me and a wall calendar in my bedroom. The good thing about having all three is that I can make note of different things on all three, as well as see my schedule in different perspectives (yearly, monthly and weekly). I also carry a small notebook everywhere I go to jot to-do lists down as I remember them for later, since agendas don’t normally have enough room to include thoughts.
Organize, organize, organize!
Be sure to keep your study area organized and visually appealing, instead of a dumping ground for textbooks and miscellaneous items. I’m guilty of doing this, too, but an uncluttered study area is more likely to make you want to use it and makes you feel less stressed. It’s a good idea to clean it weekly, and throw out or move any items that don’t belong there.
Stop binge watching all 7 seasons of Gilmore Girls on Netflix and get back to studying! Try to stay focused and find out what makes you focus. Never have the TV on in the background while studying as it’s a surefire way to distract you, and learn whether background noise hinders or helps you. I’m the type of person who needs background noise to study, so I tend to thrive in coffee shops or when I have music playing (Songza has some great playlists). If you’re the kind of person who needs absolute silence to study, don’t try to study in noisy areas, and stay out of those coffee shops!
Take breaks regularly
You’ve been studying for three hours and have gone through a stack of notes. Take breaks around this time so your brain doesn’t get sluggish and stop taking in information. Go on a ten minute walk to clear your head and come back ready to tackle those notes again. Trust me, it works.
Get your beauty rest
It’s hard to sleep during midterm or exam season- I’ve had my fair share of sleepless nights throughout the years, or weeks where I’ve gotten five hours of sleep in total because I’ve had assignment after assignment due. Sure, you can survive on this and sometimes they happen, but if you can avoid it try to get at least five hours of sleep per night (6-8 hours if you can swing it, but that’s an urban myth to me during crunch time). You may think you’re doing just fine with that extra large coffee in hand, but you’re actually less likely to retain information like this, so try to get those zzz’s in!
Give in sometimes
Remember earlier when I mentioned Netflix and told you to stay away? Now’s your chance to get an episode or two in of your favourite show. But only two, maximum! If you really can’t tear your mind away from what happened in the previous episode or you have one show that you watch religiously every week, let that be your break and spend a few extra hours studying before. I try to schedule my meals in with these breaks if I know they’re going to happen. And yes, I know there’s tons of studies done about eating in front of the TV, but it’s crunch time, people! You’ve gotta make some sacrifices.
Are you still in the middle of midterms or are you taking a break before the next round of finals? I’d love to hear your tips on how you survive midterms or finals. Let me know in the comments!