By Vanessa Sidwell
Spring has sprung! For many people, spring means it’s time to leave behind the winter cocoon of sweatpants and netflix, and emerge as the beautiful social butterfly you were born to be. However, if you’re a student like I am, spring brings a new form of cocoon for you - one that consists of a stuffy library with hundreds of other students clacking at their keyboards and flipping through weeks of assigned readings that haven’t been read. How awful is it to watch your friends who are already in the working world get excited about spring weather, patio season, and weekend plans when you’re stuck at your desk morning, noon, and night? Sadly, I can’t make your exams disappear. Instead, I can give you these five ways to make exam season a bit less stressful and help tide you over until your much deserved summer break.
There’s no denying that it can be great to study with a classmate. Having a friend to answer your questions, eat lunch with, take up your practice test, or watch your things for a couple minutes in the library can be a study saviour. However, finding the right study buddy can be a project in itself. Studying with a classmate that’s looking to put you down so they can do better or feel smarter can be a huge distraction, likewise with someone trying mooch off you for answers or notes because they never showed up to class. Don’t force group studying if it’s adding another level of drama to your exam season. It’s better to study alone and pack your things up every time you need to go to the washroom than to have someone adding to your stress.
Sometimes, the only way to motivate yourself is to treat yourself! Allowing yourself little treats throughout exam season can give you something to look forward to other than the end of exam period. One warning - be careful! Adopting this mindset can lead to some pretty outrageous spending habits and no money left for summer adventures or that new summer wardrobe. Set goals and reward yourself with something that coincides with the goal you’ve reached. Maybe not every paper deserves a huge splurge, but if you’ve just handed in your major thesis paper, go ahead and press “checkout” (on your online cart, of course).
If your stress level is high or you can’t seem to focus, the best move is to walk away from whatever you are doing for 15 minutes and reset. At Flawless, we see everyday the amazing effects taking a 15 minute break can have on your skin, mind, and mood. Different than treating yourself with a purchase, these 15 minutes allow you to immediately step away from everything that’s going on. Spending 15 minutes listening to a meditation, walking around the block, or throwing on a face mask can be the pick me up you need to reset.
The constant tour of your social media apps can really eat away at the time you were supposed to dedicate to study. It KILLS me when I spend the whole day at the library and have nothing to show for myself because I got lost in a deep and dark Instagram hole. Luckily, there are some great apps if leaving your phone at home is not a realistic option. Flat Tomato, Checky, and Forest are my personal favs. Maximizing your productivity when you are sitting down to study might free up some time to hit the patio with friends for an hour or two as a well deserved break.
Pro Tip for Mac Users: If you find yourself distracted by your computer too, download the free “Self Control” app, which allows you to block specific websites for a set period of time. A total godsend that only sometimes results in begging your friends to let you use their computer because you’ve locked yourself out of everything on your own.