Helpful Study Tips and Stress Management for Any College Student

By Brittany Whittemore
Staff Writer

Whether you’re ready or not, the semester is quickly coming to an end which can only mean one thing, finals.  Studying for finals can be really overwhelming and stressful which is why I have some helpful study tips and a few ways to manage your stress when things get a little too hectic.

Where you study can be the most crucial part of studying.  Your dorm room may seem like the right place, but sometimes Facebook, Twitter, and your friends can become a distraction.  Try going to the library or another quiet spot on campus and make this a permanent study space or workspace.  Having one place where you do school work can really help your concentration and can make studying more efficient.

Finding time to study can also be hard to fit in a schedule filled with class time and work.  Making note cards is an easy way to study anywhere, even if you only have a few minutes in between classes.  Carrying note cards with you wherever you go and reading them over every chance you get can make studying easy and convenient.

Try to get a study group together. Even if it’s just two people, going over notes out loud can actively engage your mind in what your learning and can sometimes make studying more interesting and social.

When you become restless or it starts to become difficult to concentrate, give yourself a break, you deserve it.  Even if it’s a quick snack or just a walk down the hall, taking a break can help your mind process information and relax. Be sure not to make it too long otherwise jumping back into your books can be difficult.

The most important part to studying and managing stress is sleep.  After a long day of studying and schoolwork, your body and your mind needs to rest.  Try to go to bed an hour earlier so you get a good night’s sleep.  More importantly, avoid the all-nighters!  Try planning ahead with studying and schoolwork so you’re not staying up all night cramming. Not only is sleep important for studying, but it’s also important for stress management.  I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting enough sleep!  Avoid eating right before bed, especially anything with a lot of sugar, in order to fall asleep more easily.  Try not to use your bed as a workplace so your mind and body know that when you climb into bed, it’s time to sleep.  Bedtimes may be for little kids, but having a bedtime can help you to stay on a steady sleep cycle and help you get the eight hours of sleep that you might desperately need.

The end of the semester can be really stressful with finals, projects, and papers that have due dates just around the corner.  It’s really important to manage and overcome stress and anxiety.  Focus on what you’re eating.  Eating right can really help your physical, mental, and emotional strength.  Maybe you could replace your cup of coffee every morning with an apple or keep a granola bar on you for a quick snack to give you energy.  Try to bring a water bottle with you wherever you go so you stay hydrated and keep your immune system up to par.  Another way to handle stress is working out.  Even just walking 20-30 minutes a day can boost your energy, improve your sleep, help focus your mind, and increase your self-confidence.  It may be hard to get yourself into the habit of working out, but once you get going the results will be worth it.

Time management is crucial when trying to avoid stress.  Just thinking about all the things that you have to get done can be stressful in itself. If an agenda or a calendar doesn’t work for you, even a simple checklist can be helpful.  When you cross things off a checklist, it not only makes things easier, but it is also a reminder that you’re making progress.  Another good habit to get into is scheduling a specific time when you’re going to study.  Take an hour out of every weekday, a few weeks before your test or due date, and dedicate it to studying and homework.  You’ll find that you can get a lot more done and you’ll stay on top of your work, which will reduce your anxiety.

Everyone knows that finals, papers, and projects can be extremely stressful, but there are ways to reduce your stress and make your studying time more productive.  Try to focus on one thing at a time that you can improve about your studying habits or stress management.  Even just changing one thing can really make a difference.