In Santa Barbara, we occasionally hear the rolling sirens of ambulances nearby, speeding past our windows. But I’ve come to ask a pestering question. What about the ailments that don’t get a siren? Like a broken heart, a collapsed pride, or a mental breakdown? College sees a lot of the latter. As second quarter veterans of UCSB, we have all experienced the stresses that come with the close of a quarter. Finals have become the dreaded inflictors of such pain, but no hospital, no medication can cure us. Here are some ways to therefore prevent mental breakdowns and to do so as early as now:
1.Get some sleep.
If you feel your eyes drooping, and see the words on those pages blurring together, just stop. No matter how much more you have to do, close that book, set aside those notes, and get some sleep. There’s no sense in robotically reading without retaining information. You’ll actually be hurting your ability to focus later on due to the continued lack of rest. Without that necessary energy you will read and think slower and, possibly, incoherently as I’ve experienced. I call it my “Lost Sleep Loopy-ness”. Your body needs downtime to complete the processes it usually goes through while you sleep. Depriving your body of that opportunity can mess up your system.
2.Review your notes early on.
I won’t lie. In the past, I’ve left a class proud of what I’d learned enough to ignore the notes and just take a nap/get on with my day. But the average hour and fifteen minutes of class can actually go over a lot of information (which some of us realize when we miss a class and try playing catch-up for the next week). Now imagine that multitude of information over a quarter’s worth of classes. This is the information we crammers try to fit into our studies in the span of one or two nights before finals. It is more beneficial than many realize to just review each class’s notes the day after as a simple refresher while eating breakfast or while drying your hair after a shower. You don’t need to dedicate too much time solely for your review and you feel much more confident in the information learned when you encounter the topics again in the course afterwards. This, in addition to your specifically dedicated study time and class participation, can make you one kick-butt expert on any course.
It’s always easy to let the large, double-digit amount of pages you have left to review stress you out enough to distract you. Then you find yourself scrambling to finish faster, re-reading passages because you were too busy freaking out to really pay attention the first time, and on the brink of surrendering to your negativity. Breathe. Hone in on what you’re supposed to accomplish. Let everything else, all distractions, fall away into the background. Don’t let yourself think about anything but the content you’re studying. Be in the present. And if you’re like me and need incentive to finish at a timely pace, promise yourself a reward after. When you’re finished, you can enjoy your prize (Ice cream? Music break? SLEEP? One episode of your show?) and most likely, GOOD GRADES.