As the year’s first round of final exams approaches, college students are anxious to get them overwith as quickly as possible so that they can get home for winter break. For some, this means pulling all-nighters, drowning in caffeine, and forgoing exercise or any other semblance of healthy activity in order to ensure passing grades. The last thing you’re probably doing is worrying about being healthy.
While it’s important to study, it’s even more important to look after your health. Your exam performance will suffer if you’re exhausted, hungry, or experiencing one of these other common problems during exams. Keeping a schedule can help to ensure you’re getting in enough studying as well as “you-time.”
Sitting at your desk for too long, avoiding sleep, being stressed, and being dehydrated can all result in tension headaches. It’s important to get enough sleep and take enough breaks to avoid the stress that can cause these headaches, which will most definitely make studying impossible. Try doing some stretches every hour or so, drink plenty of water, and make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep (or, at least, some naps).
All those lattes and energy drinks might be giving you the energy to power through a night of studying, but if you’re not switching off with water every now and then, you’re going to get dehydrated. This could lead to headaches, fatigue, and a lack of focus – none of which are conducive to studying. Try filling up a 36-oz bottle of water and keeping it by your side to sip mindlessly while you study.
Whether it’s due to too much caffeine or too much stress, insomnia is prevalent in students studying for exams. Make sure to lay off the caffeine a few hours before laying down to go to sleep, and get some sort of exercise each day. Take a walk around campus or set aside 30 minutes for the elliptical – wearing out your body helps you sleep! You could also buy some natural melatonin supplements if you really need assistance.
A lot of people have the tendency to break out in hives or rashes when they’re stressed. The best way to avoid this is, of course, to minimize stress. Aside from taking frequent breaks and getting enough sleep, make sure that you’re eating healthy so that you’re energized and focused. Also make sure to not spend too much time in the dry, heated indoors and take lukewarm – rather than hot – showers. Finally, use plenty of moisturizing lotion.
When your body is malnourished and/or deprived of sleep, your immune system is weakened and you’re more prone to colds (which is exacerbated by the fact that it’s cold season already). Take multivitamins, avoid germs by bathing daily and using hand sanitizer, and, again, get plenty of sleep so you’re not in a fog when exam day rolls around.