With classes quickly coming to an end before the summer break, it can only mean one thing: exams are on the way. Unfortunately, most students can’t begin to truly enjoy the summer until they’ve taken several exams, and this time of year generally promises to be a stressful period for most if not all students. However, there are a few tricks which can help balance out stress levels and help motivate you to push through the final hurdles. So why not give a few of them a try?

Tip 1: Try to do some of your studying outside if weather permits. Obviously this isn’t possible for everyone, and with rain, wind and cloudy days it may be hard to find times to do this. But spending some time outside during any brief periods of sunshine will help you get some much needed Vitamin D, which will help you feel healthy and more energetic. It can also help remind you that summer is on its way, which can be pretty strong motivation to get through the next month or so in one piece so that you can make the most of it.

Tip 2: Take a few days off at the end of your classes if possible. Depending on coursework and when your exams begin, this might not be an option for everyone. But spending a few days doing activities that you enjoy, or even doing nothing at all, will help calm you down and restore energy levels, as well as give your overworked minds a bit of a breather before you get into full exam preparation mode. So catch up on sleep, go for a walk, play some videogames or whatever else will help you to focus on something other than university, even just for a short while.

Tip 3: Try not to get into crazy sleeping patterns. Without the scheduling set by a class timetable, many students start to stay up later and later into the night, meaning they need to sleep later into the day. This isn’t bad in itself, but sleeping too late might mean you miss out on nice weather throughout the day and get into weird eating patterns, which can really mess up your body clock. This means that when exams actually begin, you might have a much harder time adjusting to the schedule as your body will be craving food or sleep right at the times you’re meant to be sitting an exam.

Tip 4: Use incentives to reward yourself for getting through the end of year and exams. Incentives don’t have to be big expensive treats that you beg your parents for. They can range from an afternoon spent in a beer garden with friends to a new pair of shoes to whatever else. The idea is to give yourself something to focus on that will help motivate you to do well, a light at the end of the tunnel of sorts. It’s also about acknowledging to yourself that exams are a difficult period and you’re allowed to feel more than a little stressed out, but also remembering that there is an end in sight.

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