Written by: Billie Clark
Exams start today! Some of you might only have one or two over the course of the next few weeks, whereas others, like me, have five this week. This time of year can be really stressful, especially if you haven’t managed your time or studying very well during the term.
For some courses, final exams consist of take-home essays, or three-hour essays during the exam period, or multiple choice questions spanning the entire course and some branches of esoteric magic. Some courses don’t even have final exams—just large final projects followed by relief or worry. Throughout my undergrad, I experienced a combination of all sorts of exams, including years where I only had one exam overall.
This year, I have five exams, four of which are similar in nature to each other. Definitions, short answers, essays, case studies—one exam will have me doing charts or diagrams rather than essays, which will be a big change from everything I’m used to. The other exam is accounting, so that should be different, too.
Given the time of year, and the overall stress that accompanies it—final projects followed by exams, and finding time to get ready for the holidays and do any shopping or baking that needs to be done—it is important to remember to take care of yourself:
Drink lots of water! It will help keep you focused, and stop you from drying out during an exam or essay session.
I know that studying tends to lend itself to cheap and salty snacks—I like chips or fries or pretzels when I study. But it is also important to keep yourself balanced, so try to make some healthy study snacks. Chop up some carrots and celery, or peppers, or even apple slices or oranges. If you chop them in advance, you can keep them in your fridge and pull them out when you need to crunch on something.
Late night study sessions before exams are only good in theory. Try to get a full night’s sleep before you write an exam—the last thing you want is to fall asleep at your table, and drool on your scantron card!
You can’t spend a full day studying and expect everything to be absorbed. Take some short breaks to relax your brain and lower your stress levels. Try colouring or knitting—something that relaxes you but is also easy to put down. The last thing you want to do is spend the day before your exam binging on Netflix because you can’t stop after just one episode.
And just to remind everyone: the stress-relief dogs are on campus today, Wednesday, and Friday!