Study Session Survival Guide

study session copy

“HOORAY! It’s finals season, my favorite!” – said no one ever.

Yeah, finals stink. I think the worst part about finals is just the boredom. Time seems to move so slowly when you’re stuck indoors and staring at a screen or textbook for hours on end. I definitely struggle with staying awake and focused during long study sessions, but I’ve found some tricks to help me keep on track!

Drink Constantly

Water, not alcohol. Calm down, guys. Seriously though, when you’re hydrated you will feel so much more alert. When you find your eyes glazing over or mind getting foggy, swap out that energy drink or soda for a big glass of H2O.

Take Breaks

For every 30 minutes of uninterrupted studying, take a 5-10 minute break. Doing these short bursts of  studying/resting/studying/resting will help you last much longer. Think of it like exercise – you build up stamina  better by pacing yourself. This is a marathon people, not a sprint.

Have Healthy Snacks

I’m guilty of binging on a whole bag of gummy bears while studying late at night. While I told myself eating this sugary snack kept me awake and focused, it really made me feel horrible in the long-run. Instead of munching on junk, find a healthy alternative. Swap Cheetos for pretzels, gummy worms for carrots, ice cream for peanut butter and celery, etc. You’ll feel much fuller and satisfied – your brain and stomach will thank you.

By no means do you have to completely deprive yourself of sweets – I highly recommend “rewarding” yourself every once in a while for working so hard!

Get Fresh Air

The library, your room, or wherever you’re studying can get awfully stuffy. When you take your 5-10 minute breaks, try to walk outside for a bit. Stretching your legs and filling your lungs with fresh air will help you feel rejuvenated. 

Listen to Some Good Tunes

While it’s tempting to listen to our favorite pump-up songs or even some calming acoustic stuff, listening to music with words can be extremely distracting. Even if we’re zoning it out a bit, our brain is still working as it listens to each word being sung. You’ll find yourself singing along without even knowing it. This kind of multitasking is detrimental.

On the other hand, I find it maddening to have complete silence – sometimes it’s even more distracting! So instead of jamming out to my favorite songs or sitting in utter silence, I play instrumental music. You can listen to instrumental covers of your favorite songs (trust me, you’d be surprised how many piano covers there are of “Gas Pedal” I kid you not).

Personally, I like listening to playlists like this or this while studying. Check out – you can type in keywords like “instrumental” or “chill” and tons of pre-made playlists will pop up!

Make a To-Do List

This will help you stay on track with the tasks you have. It may seem a lot at first once you write it all out, but it will be so satisfying to check every item off the list.

What are your favorite study session tips?

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  • Kriselle

    That first tip freaked me out! Haha but it’s a good list!

  • Allyssa

    Great tips! My best tip would be to utilize your best study method (if you know it!). I am a very visual learner, so charts, maps, diagrams are my go-to. Hope your finals week is going well! good luck <3

  • I love all of these tips! When I was in school, I always had to take study breaks, because I would get to a point when I realized I wasn’t retaining any information I was studying. I also liked to listen to classical music in the background. I can’t stand the silence either! Can’t say that I did the healthy snack thing though. I always had some super unhealthy chips nearby, namely Funyuns.