Life's Like That: How to keep cool during exam time

With the day's dwindling until the ‘09 semester ends, the work starts to pile up. We, as students, are expected to adjust and focus our energies on the task at hand, to strive for the best and achieve the best we can. Despite our differences in academic choices, age, or cities, ultimately the goal remains the same - make it through the end of the semester in one piece.

Now, in a perfect world, where everyone has the luxury to focus their lives entirely on school, I am willing to bet the student success rate would almost be unblemished. The world, although amazing, is not perfect. People regardless of age, where they live and what they do all, to some degree, possess obligations. These obligations may even appear in the form of basic living like chores, homework, bills, and therefore, unblemished academic success is not a reality for most.

Around the end of the semester, things in our lives start to unravel a bit. It may just be that laundry that you've been looking at for a week, or the dishes still in the sink from the weekend but nonetheless something always gives. So I'd like to try and lend a hand in stress management — that way, if anything during this busy time is on its way out; it won't be your relationship(s) with friends or that special someone. Let's start with some personal stress relief ideas that are healthy and free.

EXERCISE: Now I myself am far from a fitness junkie, I also realize its cold and not everyone has a gym membership, nor do they enjoy the ever-changing temperature. Regardless exercise is key and a way to relieve some of the anxiety. If you're more of an indoor person, try running up and down stairs, or on the spot. Sit-ups, pushups, anything that will get your heart beating. If you don't mind the outdoors, maybe try some light jogging with a roommate. If you're lucky enough to own a dog (or have friend who does), walking it is the perfect excuse to get moving.

KNOW WHEN TO PUT DOWN THAT BOOK: You know that feeling where your brain, at some point, chooses to no longer absorb information and you start freaking out because you're “on a schedule” and there's “so much to do”? It may sound simple but simply put your books down and walk away for a little bit. Do some of that laundry, that way your getting an academic break but you don't feel like your wasting time.

CLEAN FACE, CLEAN SPACE: This means don't let your physical appearance or your study spot be pushed aside during exams. Even if you're alone and not leaving the house, have a shower, put on fresh pajamas, and even just brushing your teeth can put you in a fresh mind-set and enhance your mood.

SLEEP: It's a no-brainer. Despite what you may think — continuous all-nighters and last-minute morning cram sessions are not doing anything to help your retention of information, or your appearance — so get some zzzz's.

The next few tips on the road to stress relief are about SOCIALIZATION. I realize now is not the smartest time to be partying it up. You don't have to in order to keep up with the social scene and be successful in your exams.

SET STANDARDS AND A TIME LIMIT: Remember it is still okay to spend time with your buddies; however, set standards for yourself and your friends. Don't let others sidetrack you from what you're working on. If your roommates are accustomed to marathon chats in your room, don't be a jerk about it, but set some boundaries. Say, “When this sign's on my door pretend I'm not here.”

TAKE PART IN ACTIVITIES THAT AREN'T A BRAIN-DRAIN: This means on the weekend, when you have certain goals in your studying you'd like to reach, but you still want to chill — change it up a bit. Try doing activities with your pals that don't leave you wasting all of Saturday or Sunday. If you do choose to drink, cut down a bit to avoid the dreaded hangover. Perhaps making plans to go out and do something during the day like catch a matinee, or hitting up the mall for a few hours may be your best bet.

Finally, keeping close with your significant other during times of stress can be tough too. That being said, sometimes during those long study hours when you're unable to chat with that special person, send them a quick text to remind them you're thinking of them and think about setting aside quality time to hang out because everyone needs a break from studying.

I hope that these tips and ideas will help and encourage you to develop some of your own. Just remember exam time is temporary, don't allow the stresses and ramifications become a permanent fixture in your life.

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.