IT APPROACHES…JAWS theme music plays in the background…du nuh nuh nuh…du nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh…..it attacks! Final season has claimed its first victim. As winter break approaches and my excitement to return home gets the best of me, I am daunted by the one obstacle in my path. The monstrous anxiety-laden thought of finals, the last determinant of the semester.
My anxiety increases. My heart beats a loud thud in my ears. I shakily hesitate to study and begin scheduling time out of my busy life to sit down and stare at a pile of notecards, praying some of the phrases click.
If this sounds familiar, not to worry! A lot of students go through the same thing when December creeps into our lives.
There are a lot of ways to reduce anxiety and increase your test taking endurance.
Below I have compiled a list of ways to succeed in the last part of the semester and overcome the obstacle standing in your way between winter break.
Study. Sometimes you need to just sit down and study.
It’s the little things that count.
Treat yourself to something sweet and delicious. Pick up a donut from Dunkin Donuts. Grab a hot chocolate at the Cornerstone Café. Pick up a coffee at Aroma Joe’s. Snag a cookie from Breaking New Grounds. You deserve it!
Space it Out.
Try not to study all at once. I did that once, and it wore me out. I felt like a zombie and I had no clue where my brain had gone. If you study a little bit at a time you can retain more and it won’t make you hate the material you are trying to remember. So instead of pulling your hair out, make a study schedule and donate a certain amount of time every day to a certain subject.
Tell a tale.
Two friends of mine were studying for an exam the other day. One couldn’t remember a definition, so the other made it into a very interesting story. Get wacky with your ideas! If you can’t remember a definition make up a story about the definition.
Switch it Up.
If you sit in the same place every time you study you get bored and antsy. Try studying in a different place every time. Try the Dimond Library. Take a seat in the Dunkin’s seating area. Find a spot in the Rockingham Lounge on the third floor of the MUB.
My favorite study technique is to quiz myself. After going through that entire stack of note cards, how do you know if you retained any of the information? Find out, by quizzing yourself.
Write it Out.
Every time I study for a test I write down the word and definition.
Take a Time Out.
After about 30 minutes your attention span is dwindling. Step away from what you are doing and stretch, go for a walk, talk to a friend, watch television, exercise.
If you find yourself nodding off as you’re studying, your body is telling you something. Take a power nap for 20 minutes. You will wake up refreshed and you can get right back to studying.
Just because it’s final season doesn’t mean you should stop eating normally and start eating snacks and junk food. Make your way to the dining hall, even if it’s for five minutes. Grab your protein, your vegetables, your grains and your dairy. A brain can’t run on cookies and chips.
That’s right! Staying up all night and pulling an all-nighter may seem like a good idea, but sleep helps you to retain information and sleep is when memory formation occurs. If you stay up all night, your memory retention decreases and it could cost you on a test.
If you are interested in more study tips check out the UNH CFAR website.
With the school semester coming to an end, there are lots of activities going on campus to relieve stress.
- Halfway There Fair. This is an event hosted by the Campus Activities Board on campus. It is taking place on December 12 at 7 p.m. in the GSR and will be filled with food and fun.
- Primal Scream, Study Buddies…the Dimond Library has it all. Keep your eyes out for stress relieving activities hosted by the library. Last year activities included a primal scream to let out frustrations and guided meditation.
- Massage away your tension and stress. Check out the Health Services Office of Health Education website. They offer lots of stress management tips, including massage therapy (a personal favorite). If massage therapy doesn’t interest you check out their other resources on stretching, yoga, and more.