It’s the Midterm Season AKA, the season of frenzied students running around the campus with their supersized cups of coffee and an infinite pile of textbooks. The struggle is real, y’all. As the temperature falls, we can all feel the dramatic increase of the google searches for “stress busters”.
Honestly, at times, stress is good, as a Harvard study found that short bursts of Cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, boosts motivation and positively affects the brain’s openness to absorbing knowledge. However, chronic stress can impair a person’s brain functioning and suppress their immune system. There are a lot of different causes of stress and anxiety- be it transitioning from different social, educational and cultural backgrounds and/or balancing the demands of family and relationships while studying. Not only that, the two major stressors like academics and stable finances, sometimes force students to make sacrifices, drop out, or worse – develop long term mental health issues.
But, don’t worry, there are tons of ways you can overcome your learning and financial challenges- all while keeping your stress at bay.
Stress Busters to Ace your Academics:
You’ll see a lot of students spending hours taking and reviewing notes, watching videos or sinking their heads into textbooks. All of these techniques work – but not on everyone. The trick is to know what your Learning Style is and how you should study.
Given its the midterm season, anything but studying feels like the right thing to do. Instead of taking a pointless Buzzfeed quiz to find out what pasta shape suits your personality, take this quiz to find out YOUR LEARNING STYLE and study methods.
Okay, now that you know your style and study tips: here are some tried and tested BONUS STUDY HACKS for you to optimise your study time and bust stress
- Take comprehensive notes in class and while going over the textbook. Using a highlighter definitely helps with marking up important points.
- Develop clear and concise outlines for each chapter in your textbooks.
- Making colour coded flashcards to remember quiz material, much like quizlet will help you with your memorization.
- Doodle or come up with your own timelines, flowcharts or visuals to remember processes.
- Record your lectures so that you can replay them like a podcast while studying. Ask your Professors prior to this, and explain your reason. In case you’re not allowed, record yourself reading your notes out loud.
- Same with flashcards – read them out loud.
- Much like learning a language, find a study buddy who you can recite the notes and important information with.
- Since listening is your strength, close your eyes. Removing visual distractions and repeating the recently absorbed information will help in solidifying the knowledge.
Kinaesthetic Learner, AKA the Mishmash Learner:
- Write out your notes repetitively and use colourful flashcards and watch relevant videos.
- While learning or memorising, pace or walk around your room and read the material out loud. Your roomies might find it annoying, but squeezing a stress ball, spinning a fidget spinner or tapping sharpies can help you retain information longer.
- Take breaks, walk around and stretch in between studying, even if its only for 5 minutes.
- Try practicing the concepts physically or with role playing.
- Listen to music while studying.
P.S. Learning is not a “one-size-fits-all” thing. Personally, you might have overlaps between the styles and prefer one technique over another. Test and try to see what works best for YOU. Don’t forget to check out more cool assessments for free.
Now that you have joined the “study smarter, not harder” club, let’s move on to tackling the next big stressor in our lives- Money or lack thereof.
Stress Busters to Make Money:
A 2017 study done by Ipsos, a global market research company, shows that more than 77% of Canadian students under 40 years of age regret their decision of taking out student loans– and that was just before the pandemic job cuts and crashing economies. Financial stress not only impedes students’ social lives, but also their academic performance- adversely affecting their mental wellbeing.
A lot of advice will be surrounding slashing spending to an extent that is almost deemed inhumane or, have a really strict and inflexible budget. It could be as simple as buying the cheapest, sometimes unhealthy alternative items, to skipping social gatherings or even daily meals to save up. Constantly thinking about these things on top of other issues like debts and bills, make life tougher to live, induce anxiety and in some extreme cases, force students to drop out.
We, at payd, understood this and came up with an easy and simple solution- an app that helps you save when you spend. Once you build your profile and link your card on payd, you will be given a flexible option to set your rounding goals. And that’s it. With every tap, you will get rewarded with roundups and cashbacks. You’ll also be able to invest your money to grow your payd savings account. So no more opting out of friends and fun.
Want to know more about money management? Don’t forget to check our quick read on 8 Money Saving Hacks.
In the end, all that matters is, being aware of the sources of your stress and mastering the relevant stress busters. ‘Guess “work smarter, not harder’’ is also applicable to other areas of life.