November 4, 2013

How to Get Your Head in the Game for Midterms - Let's Kick Anxiety's Ass!!!

Midterm season is upon us and I for one am freaking the duck out!!!

Exams always make me crazy anxious, and I know I'm not the only one who gets this way... Judging by my friends' frantic "Wish me luck!" text messages and their "Cram-o-rama time" status updates on Facebook, I'm not alone and neither are you!

I bet you're reading this thinking that I'm going to tell you to "study harder" and "avoid all-nighters", all that "La Di Da" self-help advice those hard-working study whores'll give ya.


I'm not here to tell you HOW to study. I'm here to help you deal with the super awful "my stomach's in my chest, I'm choking on my own breath, and it feels like someone is wringing out my lungs" kind of feeling that you experience when you think you're absolutely doomed to fail. Which you probably aren't. You were smart enough to seek help with your anxiety, so obviously you're not a total lost cause, yeah?


And now, in no particular order...

What to Do the Day/Night before, and the Morning of, Your Test/Midterm/Exam to Chill Out:

First time using my nail art brushes. Don't judge!


I'm totally serious. I don't know what it is, but taking the time to "Zen Out" and paint my nails some funky colour with an equally funky fresh design really helps me get over my anxiety. So take a break from studying and primp yourself. Plus, when you write your exam you'll have gorgeous nails to look at - a great pick me up! Choose colours and designs that inspire you. I love doing a bold red nail. It makes me feel fierce, like I'm ready to pounce on my exams! Meow.

A TO Zzzzzzz...

Get some rest before your exam. You'll feel (and look!) a lot better come test-time when you can wake up and not feel icky, sick, or worried that you're too tired to remember anything. Try to aim for at least six hours to ensure you're not just taking a long nap.


Set multiple alarms for about 2 hours before your exam, so you don't have to freak out about being late or not having enough time to review/get ready in the morning. When I get up 2 hours early, I spend the first hour just totally de-stressing and getting ready, meaning dressing up, doin' ma hurr, and preparin' noms. I spend the next hour commuting to school and reviewing my notes, ensuring that I arrive early and am not tripping into the exam room 25 minutes late, doomed to be on the receiving end of everyone's "you wrecked my focus!" glares for the rest of the exam.


Pick your outfit out the night before, so you're not scrambling last minute trying to find your "lucky" shirt/socks/panties. I like to avoid the sweatpants, sweatshirt, half-assed ponytail combo. I feel like it drags me down even more when I look in the mirror and look like I just gave up on myself. Just because you don't have class and you have to do a test doesn't mean you have to give up! Think about it this way: you're normally sitting in class for up-to 3 hours anyway, so what's the difference when it comes to sitting for an exam? I'd rather own my outfit, and reap the benefits of the confidence provided by said cute outfit, than wallow in my depressing sweatpants that I've been exam-cramming in for the last week.  Look good = Feel good!


Another thing you can do the night before to ensure you're not freaking on your "big day" is organizing your pencil case. Technically, we're not allowed to bring a pencil case to our exams, so in this case I'm referring to your makeshift "Ziplock bag pencil case". Get multiple pencils, pens, erasers, highlighters, and other necessary tools (calculator, crib sheet, extra sheets of lined/plain paper for rough work, textbook, pencil sharpener, etc.) packed up beforehand. That way, if you are low on pencils, you'll have time in the morning to pick some up or source some from your local pencil pusher.

Pro tip: If you're bringing a calculator, double-check the batteries. If you're unsure what their juice level is, either replace them before your test, or bring extra batteries. Also, make sure those extra batteries aren't on the verge of dying. It's happened.


What better way to start the morning than with a calming cup of tea? Just make sure it's of the non-drowsy variety and try to avoid caffeine because I'm sure you're only just coming down from last night's Red Bull high. One of my favourite mojo-maxing teas is Tetley's Mojito Herbal Tea. I love to mix in a little bit of lemon and honey, and since it's caffeine-free, I'm not crashing during my exam. Score.


So I tend to avoid this crucial meal on a daily basis (not on purpose, I'm just usually not very hungry in the mornings), but I insist on consuming a lovely spread before any examination. Not only will food give you the energy you need to focus during your test, you have to consider the fact that your test could drag on for quite awhile, meaning you won't get to eat for quite awhile. And stomach grumbling during test-induced silence is not a fun experience. So crack those eggs, and whip up a quick omelette! One of my favourite pre-test breakfasts consists of a mushroom, chicken bacon, and red pepper omelette, with a side of toasted bread and plain yogurt. If I don't have enough time to sit and eat, I just wedge the omelette between two slices of toast, wrap it in some paper towel, and voila - homemade breakfast sandwich to go!

What are your fave tips for taking a tip-top test?  Comment below!

Eternal wishes of luck,


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