It is not easy being a student at this time of the year. With O Levels and SSC exams set for early next year, surviving these few weeks is a true test of perseverance and patience. Studying late into the night until you hear birds chirping, missing meals and living on sugar while hopping from one class to the next and, add to that, expectations from teachers and parents, can all really push one to the edge.
How can we not let the pressure of studying take us down? Coming out from the end of the tunnel unscathed is not an easy task – but it can be done.
ONE TASK AT A TIME
It's easy to feel overwhelmed if you do not have a plan of attack. Pull up a checklist or make use of colourful sticky notes – what do you have to complete today? Do you need extra guidance with some of the work? Mark them and find friends or a teacher who can help. Then start making a headway on the work that you can do on your own. Tackle, and move to the next. You will soon see that you are at the end of your checklist, and well prepared for your next class.
SCHEDULING IT RIGHT
No one wants to be swamped with coursework. Good news is, no one has to. Divide your study schedule into small sessions. Instead of studying for hours on end, study for 25-minute sessions with 5-minute breaks at the end. Called the Pomodoro technique, this time management method was developed in the 1980s. It helps to concentrate more by focusing for a short amount of time and not feel dazed from sitting for hours in front of books. You will see that you are freeing up more time to yourself.
FIND A PAIR OF EARS
Finding anyone you feel comfortable with does the trick. The goal is to get the feeling of unease or panic off your chest. People who have faced or still face the same pressure have a lot in common, and it can relieve stress just by talking to one another. If that Chemistry class is getting you down, vent about it or just talk about what's making things difficult for you. The person could be a friend, a parent, or a teacher. You may take something useful out of the conversation, and if not, you will definitely feel a lot lighter.
TAKE A TIME OUT
Your coursework can very well burn you out if you are not taking some time off for yourself. Find time to relax or hang out with friends where you don't talk about anything related to studies. Sit back and do something you love. How about hitting the gym? Exercising is known to reduce stress levels and improve concentration. Reading or spending time with family can help too.
SLEEP BETTER, STUDY BETTER
A major reason you might be feeling stressed out: not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is what makes you blank out in the classroom, causes you to lose focus, and gets you anxious and irritable, ultimately making you fall back on your coursework. Avoid cramming and pulling all-nighters as much as possible – it is not an effective way of studying. The benefits of a night's rest for better health and memory cannot be stated enough.
Luba Khalili is Deputy Manager, Communications, BRAC. Sameeha Suraiya Choudhury is Lead Content Strategist, Communications, BRAC.