Hi guys! If you are a student like me, then you know that finals week is approaching quickly. I’m going to share some tips on how to prepare for exams and maintain your sanity during this crazy time of the year. Sometimes I feel like this type of posts are more of a pep talk for myself, but I hope you’ll find something useful!
Note: I was a science major in college so whatever I say probably applies to science courses more than humanities courses.
- Start early! I really mean it. Start studying at least 2 weeks before your exam to allow enough time to go through all the material. I know it’s really hard to start studying for the final exam while you still have other assignments due. But start small by spending 15 minutes per night reviewing and then gradually increase that amount of time as it gets closer to the exam.
- For concepts that you have to memorize, write them all out (by hand if possible) and study them everyday before the exam. I usually write out a long version first, and then create a condensed version to pinpoint all the crucial points.
- For classes that you have to solve problems (such as genetics, chemistry, physics, math), learn the concepts first, identify different types of problems, do practice problems, and summarize how you should approach each type of problems. Make a list of the step-by-step procedure if the material isn’t too theoretical.
- Do practice exams and time yourself! Unfortunately, not all professors are willing to provide those….
Take Care of Your Body:
- Eat healthy, snack often. I don’t know about you, but I get hungry really easily when I study! My favorite snacks while studying are: Greek yogurt with granola and nuts, mixed fruit bowl (I suggest chopping up the fruit right after a meal and put them in a Tupperware. Trust me, if you are too lazy to chop/peel fruit when you are full, you won’t do it when you are hungry.), chips & guac, and dark chocolate (can’t live without my dark chocolate :P).
- Get some rest. I know it’s much easier said than done but make sleep a priority. Sleep at least 6 hours per night. Being well rested makes studying easier.
- Stay (somewhat) physically active. Time is tight but try to exercise/play sports twice a week and take walks on the other days.
- Drink lots of water, don’t drink too much coffee. Although I love my daily cup of coffee, I usually can’t stand the taste of coffee during finals week because I’m so tired of the taste. I like to drink green tea when I’m stressed because I find it to be very calming. I normally just use whole leaf green tea and add some honey in there.
- Use a sheet mask 1-2 times a week. Stress is a major cause of dull skin. Sheet masks are easy to put on and remove. Plus you can keep doing your work while you have the mask on.
- It’s natural to get overwhelmed but don’t stress too much. Breakdown your larger tasks into smaller bits and you’ll get more done than you expect. I love making lists so I depend on my Todoist app to keep me on top of things.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slack off for a little bit. Just pick yourself up and focus on your work afterwards. Get rid of distractions such as electronics. It’s too bad that the SelfControl app doesn’t work in OS X Mavericks. Now I gotta exercise real self-control :P
- Change your study/work environment so you don’t get too comfortable. For example, rotate between studying at the library, coffee shop, your desk, dining table, etc.
- Listen to instrumental music. I’ve been really enjoying the Study Music Project, created by a current medical student. You can listen to his music here on his YouTube channel.
- If you are soooo stressed that you feel like you are on the verge of a mental breakdown, stop what you are doing and take a break! Spend an hour watching TV, reading, drawing, baking, napping, or whatever that helps you to relax. Sometimes you need to get your mind off your work so you can approach it with a new attitude later.
- Resist the urge to online shop. I have this bad habit of really wanting to online shop whenever I’m stressed out, but I end up regretting most of those purchases. To deal with this, I have 2 solutions: 1) create a Pinterest board of the things you want instead of actually buying them, 2) write down “I saved $____ today by practicing self-control” on a slip of paper and put it in a jar. I know they are kinda silly but they work!
Phew, you finally reached the end of the post! I wish you all the best of luck with your final exams! Hang in there!
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During the summer time, one of the favorite beverages is the green tea. Today I’ll show you how I like to make my tea.
A little bit of scientific background: Green tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis, which is rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralizes free radicals and help to prevent cell and tissue damage (anti-aging). The flavonoids in green tea are natural anti-inflammatory compounds that have shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Personally, I prefer using loose leaf tea. I recently started adding another ingredient, ginseng. Ginseng is a root that has many health benefits, including:
- physical/mental health stimulant
- weight control (appetite suppressant)
- relieving menstrual cramps.
It’s important to use ginseng in moderation. For tea, chop up the ginseng and use 1 tbsp of ginseng per 1 cup of water. I’d suggest purchasing ginseng in the form of small pre-cut pieces or powder. It’s really difficult to cut ginseng roots so it’s better to leave the cutting up to the manufacturer.
- boil the water
- add green tea and ginseng into a cup/teapot
- add hot water into the cup
- let the tea and ginseng steep
- remove the ginseng after a few minutes
- lastly and this is optional, serve the tea over ice
I hope you enjoyed this simple recipe! This is a really easy way to flush out the toxins in our bodies and improve the overall skin complexion. I usually make a pot of tea in the morning so I can drink it throughout the day. I’m not the best when it comes to drinking lots of water, but making this tea helps. In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting a few different DIY green tea mask recipes using the tea leaves from this beverage. Be on the lookout for these effective and affordable beauty masks!
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Hi everyone! This post is gonna be a little different than usual. It’s the last 2 weeks of the spring semester and most of my friends and I are going through a lot of stress trying to wrap things up and prepare for final exams and papers. I thought it’d be fun to share some of my tips on dealing with one of the most stressful times of the year for college students. After all, wellness and beauty are closely related. I hope you’ll find some of these to be helpful!
- Get enough sleep. I admit, it’s hard getting enough sleep during finals week. But personally, as soon as I get sleep deprived, my immune system crashes and I get sick. Without health, we can’t really do anything besides staying in bed. I’d suggest getting at least 6 hours of sleep per day. If you have the time, take a nap for about an hour to 2 hours. Your body will thank you :)
- Stress eating is okay…as long as you are snacking on healthy food. Your body needs energy when you are working hard so stock up on nutritious snacks. My all-time favorites are: dark chocolate (70% cacao is the best), yogurt, oranges, dried mangoes, almonds, walnuts, and whole wheat crackers. I’d like to put emphasis on yogurt because I tend to lose my appetite when I’m stressed out. Yogurt that contains probiotics can help regulate your digestive system. Try to get organic and low-fat yogurt if possible. If you like fruit in your yogurt, use fresh fruit instead of getting the fruit-bottom yogurt.
- Don’t forget to take your daily multivitamin. When we are under stress, we don’t always make the healthiest decisions on what we eat. To ensure that your body gets enough vitamins and minerals, take a daily multivitamin. Additionally, I’ve been loading up on vitamin C by eating 2 oranges per day. Vitamin C boosts your immune system and it’s a water-soluble vitamin so all the excess are excreted. You generally don’t have to worry about getting too much of it.
- Stay hydrated. I can’t keep track of how much green tea I drink during finals week. It’s so soothing for the mind and body. My favorite “recipe” is loose leaf green tea with honey. If I only have access to tea bags instead of loose leaf tea, I like to add a little bit of milk in it. Homemade milk tea is really yummy! If you are a coffee/tea drinker, it’s especially important to also drink water because caffeinated drinks have a diuretic effect. If you don’t like the taste of plain water, add some lemon, lime, and basil for a refreshing spin. In high school, I used to have a routine of drinking warm lemon water with honey every morning before breakfast every morning. I don’t know why I stopped….lol I should really resume this old habit. This drink is really great for digestion and detoxification.
- Maintain your exercise routine. Every semester, I find myself keeping up with my gym routine….until exams come around. Unless you are super motivated, it’s so easy to skip out on exercising when you are busy. But being active really helps you to focus better. If you really “don’t have the time” to go to the gym, you can still exercise in your room as a study break. There’s a ton of free workout videos online and some of them require little to no equipments. I recently started doing yoga in my room and it’s been great so far.
I hope this has been informative :) If you have some special tips on dealing with end of semester stress, feel free to share!
Lastly, both Christine and I will be pretty busy with prepping for finals and standardized tests (MCAT for her, GRE for me) over the next few weeks. So we might not update as frequently as usual. Meanwhile, you can follow us on Twitter to stay in touch!