Developing healthy study habits for finals

     With finals rapidly approaching, it would be helpful for UCCS students to start working on and developing healthy study habits to make it through the last leg of the semester fully intact. 

     If you are someone who is prone to last-minute cramming and staying up all night to study like I am, you might be stuck in a cycle that is taking a serious emotional and physical toll on you. 

     It is difficult to know for certain what the best study habits for you may be, but I have found that the least effective way to stay on track for finals is by staying up all night to study.  

     The Sleep Foundation finds that staying up all night not only affects your mood but also your ability to perform well throughout the day due to mental and physical exhaustion. 

     A solution to this issue is drinking caffeinated beverages, which is effective when it comes to staying awake, but not when it comes to putting you in the right headspace to take an exam. 

     Instead of staying awake all night studying, or drinking an absurd amount of caffeine to make it through a final exam, you might consider some different approaches to surviving finals week — ones that do not involve sacrificing your own mental and physical wellbeing for the sake of getting a decent grade. 

     One way to avoid falling into unhealthy study habits is to make an organized schedule. Instead of relying entirely on your own memory to tell you when the best time to study would be, let your schedule tell you. That way, you know when you need to start studying, and what the consequences will be if you decide to study later rather than sooner. 

     When you get caught in a cycle of studying only when you absolutely have to instead of when you have the time to, that can eventually lead to you staying up longer in order to buy yourself more time. If you have a schedule all laid out, you will have a better grasp of what you need to study and when, and that can be a huge motivation to get started earlier instead of putting it all off for the last minute. 

     Another way to avoid falling into unhealthy study habits is to create a non-distracting environment that allows you to stay focused while studying. Turning your phone off for certain amounts of time, and asking family and friends to hold you accountable, allows you to inhabit a space with minimal distractions. 

     Taking breaks is essential to studying effectively, but when you do decide to take breaks, you should make sure it is only when you feel like you are at a good stopping point. Otherwise, you are going to have trouble getting started again. 

     Finals are difficult, and the people in our lives can often put a lot of pressure on us to do well in school — but please try not to let those expectations push you into developing unhealthy study habits. 

     Regardless of what you may or may not be going through right now, everyone deserves to feel confident and level-headed during finals. If you feel like the stress is too much, you can reach out to any of the Colorado Crisis Services for support, as well as the UCCS Wellness Center

     Good luck everyone, and happy studying! 

The Research Assistance desk in the Kraemer Family Library. Photo by Meghan Germain.