By: Maddie Boyer

Happy last week of classes, Deacs! Whether you feel like the semester has inched or flown by, the final stretch is upon us. As you gear up for finals and get in those last-minute projects, it may feel harder to get into the right mindset from home (personally, I just want to curl up and watch bad Netflix holiday originals). To make this finals season the best round yet, we have suggestions about how to make home the new ZSR. 

Convert Your Study Space

Everyone has their preferred study area, and now that you’re home, it’s important to find yours. That may look different for everyone; maybe you like moving around to shake things up or maybe you want to pick one stop and have that be your designated classroom. Whatever the answer is, make sure you’ve found a quiet space with reliable internet. From there, personalize it to your needs! Grab the highlighters, blankets, or whatever else you need, and get ready to ace those exams. 

Get Into a Routine

I get it. Being home, it’s super easy to fall into the vacation mode trap. The easiest way to combat this is to try to maintain your school routine as much as possible. Wake up on time, workout, put on real clothes (or just change tops, no judgment), and keep your mind focused on school to the best of your ability. If you always go to the pit at 12:30, try eating lunch around then too. Maintaining your routine as much as you can will increase a sense of normalcy and help you finish the semester strong.

Drink Water

Feeling brain fog mid-cram session? Drink a glass of water! Water is one of the most important factors for supporting the brain and increased hydration can improve your cognition. To really get your study on, make sure you’re well-hydrated and getting enough to eat! Whether it’s a good old glass of water or a cozy cup of tea, skip the third cup of coffee and try refreshing your brain.

Take Breaks

You’ve heard it once and you’ll hear it again: marathon study sessions really aren’t the best way to go. It really is more effective for you to break up your studying into smaller chunks. Research shows that for best results, you should take 5-15 minute breaks every hour and longer breaks, around 30 minutes, every 2 to 4 hours. Being at home, it’s particularly important to stretch your legs and get out of the same spot. Go for a walk, do a 15-minute yoga session, or go play with your pet. Fun fact: the frequency of a cat’s purr is known to be healing, so cuddling up with your pet can decrease anxiety!

Better Zzz’s

Hopefully your childhood bedroom is already quieter than your dorm, so you’re sleeping more soundly. However, the quality is just as important as the quantity of your sleep (and we all know both can take a hit around exam season). Ideally, shut off electronics two hours before bed to decrease blue light. If that feels impossible, try switching your electronics to night mode and wearing blue light glasses. Either way, giving your brain time to wind down and have a break away from screens will increase the quality of your sleep and leave you more refreshed for the next day. Better sleep = better studying… that means no all-nighters too. 

Hopefully these tips will make the next two weeks a bit easier! No matter what, you all should feel so proud of yourselves for making it through an unusual and difficult semester. Finish strong, and enjoy a well-deserved extended break. Good luck, Deacs!

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