Sin’s regular health and fitness columnist, John Mulry of Expect Success Fitness, talks us through seven ways to make sure we’re ready for that time of year…
As this is the last issue of Sin for this semester I wanted to leave you with an actionable article that will help you come exam time. We are nearly into April and with the exams just around the corner, no doubt the stress and tension may be starting to build up. Here are seven simple, but effective tips to combat that stress.
- If you are having trouble in a particular subject or course, don’t hesitate about asking for help. Your lecturers and tutors have office hours; drop by during this time and tell them you need extra help. Contrary to what you might think, they are there to help you succeed and will gladly point you in the right direction if you’re struggling for clarity.
- Try studying for exams with your friends. Studying alone can be beneficial, but there is strength in numbers, especially when others need to learn the same material as you. Try setting up a schedule and picking a place to meet that works for everyone. Avoid doing this in a crowded area like Smokey’s, what I recommend you do is go to one of the quieter lecture halls or classrooms and keep the likes of the canteen or Smokey’s for when you’re having lunch or a quick tea or coffee.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Getting a full night’s sleep and staying on a sleeping schedule can help you much more than skipping or cutting back on your sleep. By getting plenty of rest, you’ll be more alert, have more energy, and be able to study more aptly.
- Try not to stay out late partying and drinking leading up to your exams. You know this already but it will make a big difference. When you’re hungover, your concentration levels are shot, you have a severe lack of energy and you will be less likely to want to study (I know I was) and it’s just not worth it. Keep the nights out until after your exams. Then you can go bananas if that’s your thing.
- Stick to what works best for you. If you are an all-nighter type of person and it works for you stick with it. Or if you’re like me and you like to schedule study time at certain times of the day then do that. Find your “magic” time for study and guard it with your life. Don’t let anyone interrupt you when you are “in the zone”.
- Don’t go hell for leather. Take breaks, get out for some fresh air or better still, get some exercise in. Go to the gym, or even just a walk. Do whatever you like doing, whichever way you prefer to exercise, do that. Staying active will help stimulate your brain a lot more and give you renewed energy to tackle those books.
- Avoid the junk food. What has food got to do with exams? If you’re shovelling energy-sapping foods into your mouth like sugary sweets, pastries, fizzy drinks and other types of crap, you’ll be left with that sluggish, lethargic “I’m doing nothing but sleeping” feeling. So what should you eat? Simple; just eat real whole foods. Load up on balanced meals with a high protein, healthy fats and complex carbs and you’ll be fine. Drink plenty of water too, aim for 2-3 litres a day.
Exam time is stressful but if you even take 5 of the tips above and apply them you will minimise that stress, start with whichever one you find to be the easiest and get cracking. Best of luck and hopefully I’ll be back with more ramblings and (amazing) content for you next year. I’ll leave you with this; in life you don’t always get what you want, but you always get what you expect. So expect success (you might as well).