Exam week can be tough to deal with, especially when you’re studying abroad. Just when you’ve started to feel comfortable living overseas, the pressure of meeting deadlines and passing subjects can build up and overwhelm you. Even worse, you may not have the comfort of being home to ease some of your worries. Never fear! Here are some tips from University Canada West (UCW) to overcome study abroad anxiety while preparing for your exams.
Listen to music.
Music is known to influence how we feel. Listening to the right kind of music can lighten your mood even when you’re stressed. Did you know that the British Academy of Sound Therapy teamed up with the band Marconi Union in creating the world’s most relaxing song? You can listen to it in this playlist of songs scientifically proven to reduce stress.
Another great thing about music: it can bring back memories that can bring you comfort. If you’re feeling a bit homesick, listen to some songs that remind you of home!
Clear your head with a workout.
Exercise is great for boosting morale when you’re feeling down. When you exercise, your body releases hormones called endorphins which cause the positive feelings you feel after a workout. So pick an activity to do when you need to unwind! You could go to the gym, join a sports club, take 20-minute walks, or do yoga. If you’re feeling budget conscious, give these equipment-less workouts a try. The intensity of the workout doesn’t matter — what’s important is that you get those endorphins going!
Prepare a study plan.
The amount of readings to review, projects to finish, and deadlines to meet during exam week can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of things that need to be done when you don’t have a clear list of priorities.
Creating a study plan will help you remain organized and productive. Stay on top of everything that needs to be done by sticking to a set schedule and going through it one step at a time. A study plan can also help with study abroad anxiety during exam week. Instead of worrying about how much more you need to study, you can boost your mood by focusing on what you have been able to accomplish!
Get some sleep.
Think twice about pulling that all-nighter! Research suggests that sleep can help your brain absorb more knowledge. This means getting enough sleep is important when you’re reviewing. If you absolutely need to stay up and review though, you should consider taking strategically-timed power naps that will let your mind rest between study sessions instead.
Treat yourself to some dark chocolate.
We talked about endorphins above and we’ll go back to them now. Did you know that exercise isn’t the only way to get your body to release endorphins? Eating dark chocolate stimulates the production of endorphins. On top of that, dark chocolate has also been proven to improve blood flow in the brain — positively affecting memory and attention span.
Just imagine how great you’ll feel if you exercise before a study session and then help yourself to some dark chocolate as a snack while you review! Study abroad anxiety who?
Learn to manage your time well.
Time management is an essential life skill that you’re better off practicing sooner than later. Gradually preparing yourself ahead of time will lessen the amount of work you have to do come exam week. Instead of cramming, try setting up a regular review schedule for all your classes so that you can retain what you learn longer. This way, studying for exam week will be less overwhelming. After all, you’re less likely to get stressed out when you’re prepared.