The events of 2020 – and 2021, as the COVID-19 crisis spills over into this year – makes it highly likely that nothing about your daily routine looks the same as it did pre-pandemic. After all, you used to attend classes in-person, and now? Now, you’re lucky if you walk into an academic building for one or two classes, much less your entire roster of courses. And, let’s not even get started on how our collective Internet habits have changed during the past year. We’re spending more time online than ever, scrolling through pages of social media content, news coverage, and more.
Yet, there is one area of your collegiate life that you should strive to keep in check, pandemic be darned. That’s your finals week routine. As much as you may be used to constant change these days, we’re still creatures of habit, and experts agree that routines are a great way to lend structure to our days. This is especially true during the ongoing pandemic – a time where you have so little control over everything else. Another benefit of routines? According to Verywell, structure can improve your focus, organization, and productivity – three traits that can certainly come in handy during finals season!
Read on to discover 3 useful ways to center your focus, prepare your mind for your upcoming exams, and create a simple routine for finals week.
Wake up at a reasonable hour.
Starting your morning with a productive routine is a great way to set the tone for an effective day of finals studying. Yet, all too often, we rob ourselves of the ability to do this by staying up too late the night before and sleeping in late the next day. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can stay up late reviewing your notes and won’t feel sluggish the next morning! You’re much better off getting into the habit of waking up at a reasonable time every day – you’ll also retain more information when you’re well-rested. And, while we’re on the topic, be sure to change out of your PJs after you roll out of bed. You’d be surprised how much of an energy boost you’ll get from a more appropriate outfit, which signals to the brain that it’s time to get down to business.
Don’t skip the most important meal of the day.
When you’re a time-strapped college student, you might find that you hardly have time to remember to charge your laptop or call your mom back, let alone eat a nutritious breakfast every single morning. But, it’s certainly something that you should prioritize during finals week. There’s serious truth to the claim that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Eating breakfast energizes your body and aids in concentration. A study published in the Journal of Economics also claims that eating breakfast results in better academic test scores – yes, really! So, eat up in the morning and set yourself up for success. The best choices are foods rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein and low in added sugar.
Take plenty of brain-boosting breaks.
We hate to burst your bubble, but an all-night cram session isn’t the best way to prepare for finals. While you can technically do it, take it from your pals at uCribs: your brain will retain much more information when it’s not being forced to consume the material at a speed of 100 miles per hour. In fact, the American Psychological Association says that taking periodic breaks from our work improves our moods, performance capacity, and overall well-being. In other words, break up your studying with a few hilarious YouTube videos, or a quick walk around your off-campus apartment community with your dog, and you’ll probably find that you’re not only happier, but also more motivated to continue studying.
Finals week is just around the corner, and while you may be pumped for Summer 2021, don’t let your excitement for summer break derail your finals routine! You also shouldn’t let the pandemic get in the way of your career and life goals – your college education is very important, and you need to devote yourself to your commitment. Create a simple, easy-to-stick-with routine using these pointers, and you’re sure to experience great success in your final exams.