Exam season is nearing. We just got past the flurry of midterms and deserve a fatherly pat on the back. So take a moment and congratulate yourself for getting through the semester so far. However, finals are approaching, and it's so important that through these stressful weeks we focus on what's important. Our mental health, and trying our best on our exams. While the temperature dwindles and the number of daydreams about the holidays rapidly increase, it’s time to prepare for exams, and the subsequent stress they bring. So here's a few ways to focus on your mental health during the next month or so.
It feels good knowing you have a study plan, or have at least started thinking about exams far ahead of time. Take a breath, you have plenty of time.
Take a break.
Or 50. Trying to cram information into your brain 24/7 is painful. Take a lot of short little breaks, or few long ones, or lots of long ones, up to you. Just do it.
Go get a coffee.
Get that toothpaste out of your bangs and try put on real pants and get out your door. Fancy coffee shops are a fun outing rather than your local one, but if you don’t have time to venture somewhere new, take up a table for 6 at a Starbucks near you like the self-aware person you are.
Watch some stand-up.
Start with John Mulaney’s New in Town. Then watch Louis CK’s Hilarious. Then watch Sarah Millican’s Chatterbox. Then Nate Bargatze’s Yelled At By a Clown. The list could easily go on forever but start with these four, please and thank you.
Look, I know it’s scary out there. I know you’ve made yourself a weird little blanket fort out of unwashed sheets, and I know you have post-it notes everywhere and you don’t have any spare time, but go outside. Go for a walk in nature and clear your mind. It’ll help with your studying, and put things into perspective.
This tip isn't for those who don't enjoy said activity (like myself). I'm recommending this for those people who enjoy physical activity but don't think they have time. You have the time, so make it happen.
Hang out with friends.
Or study near them. Family is also an excellent substitute.
Study in multiple different places throughout the day.
Sitting at one desk can get monotonous, so try to snag a study spot in a school library or commons block, etc.
Do what you love, whatever that is.
Take some time to do something that makes you happy. DIY, or play an instrument, insert other generic activities used to illustrate a point.
Play a game.
This activity is both fun and can be done in the confines of your blanket fort. Heck, maybe even invite some friends over and make a night out of it.
Go get a slice of pie.
Now, you may be wondering how this act is different than getting coffee. But go to a local bakery that specializes in pie, and sit down, close your eyes, inhale, and eat. Then get a slice to take home. This act centers me. It is a sacred part of my life, and now yours too.
Accept your state of stress.
This is a hard time for all college kids, but hey, you just read a list of things that will give you the upper hand. Taking care of your mental health will always be a better use of your time than cramming for an extra hour. Trust me, you don’t know me but trust me, you will do your best and that’s all you can do. Own it, and don’t waste your time worrying, "waste" your time relaxing.
- Believe in yourself.
Written by UBC Campus Rep Lara Gillatt
Edited by Executive Assistant Addie Van Rijn