You've nearly made it to the end of the semester. You're so close to finishing these subjects and repressing any knowledge you've painfully and diligently learnt over the last 13 weeks. All you must do is get through your Finals. As someone in their final year of study, I've come to some realisations about Finals. Your laundry will pile up, and your houseplants may die. Your bathing habits may become negotiable. But there are some things you can do to help you reduce some of the chores around you during this time and help you stay focused on smashing your exams.
As someone who regularly forgets to feed themselves during exam period, I have discovered two things. Firstly, yes, I can still exist and be somewhat productive surviving on coffee and Diet Coke for 24 hours. Secondly, I am an emotional and starving wreck the next day and not productive at all. These outcomes reveal why meal prep or utilising a meal delivery service comes in handy.
Plan to fail, but don't fail to plan
Set aside a few hours and smash out some meals to see you through. If you have enough freezer space, feel free to go nuts and meal prep for an entire fortnight. If you're like me and don't have any freezer space, meal prep for one week, this isn't a MasterChef challenge. All you need to do is make some meals with enough protein, carbs, and fat to feed your brain. Throw a can of tuna in with some pasta, zucchini, and pesto. I highly recommend making some fried rice with some frozen mixed veggies, soy sauce, oyster sauce and some eggs/egg substitute. Another great option is lentils, grated carrot, mushrooms, tomato sauce and pasta = that's a meal. Alternatively, if you have the funds, get it delivered. Most meal delivery services offer a student discount, are flexible with delivery schedules, and have a good range of products to cater to your dietary needs.
Trash time-consuming tasks
Don't have time to do dishes? Don't have a dishwasher? No problems, head into a Kmart or any department store and buy some disposable, eco-friendly tableware. A former housemate of mine introduced me to this concept over the Xmas holidays. We only used disposable cups, cutlery, and dinnerware for an entire week to avoid doing any dishes, and it was revolutionary! It's one less chore to worry about, and it means you won't be walking into a science experiment every time you walk into your kitchen.
Love your brain
If you need to take regular medication, make sure you have enough to see you through finals fortnight! Taking your meds may involve a trip to your GP if your medicine is restricted, but it's worth it if you can avoid trying to find the time to get your prescription filled in the middle of your exams. Also, set a reminder for yourself to take your meds! As someone who frequently forgets during the exam period (and is then left wondering why I feel sick), I've set a scheduled alarm on my phone AND on my phone calendar to remind me. #adulting
Taking time off work will not always be possible for those who don't have access to leave entitlements, but if you do, use some annual leave to take some time away from work. Not only will this give you more time to study and revise, but it's also going to alleviate unnecessary stress. PRO TIP – as most exam periods fall around the same time as school holidays, try and get your leave submitted and approved ASAP.
Raise your heart rate, lower anxiety
I know, I know. Every single article in the universe recommends this to reduce stress or help with your study load. But seriously, get out of your chair. Go outside for five minutes. Do some stretching in another room. Whilst the idea of exercising can seem like a tough decision if you're like me and don't want to spend any time on something not study-related, it ironically does help improve your focus.