It has been a rough month or so, with exams and holidays and more exams. I am usually really good about taking care of myself but the past month has been difficult. We got back to school and Thanksgiving was around the corner but we had 4 exams after coming back from that weekend. The week after we had a week of cramming in lectures for the upcoming exams the following week. The last 11 days I’ve had 8 exams and each of them has been a challenge to stay focused. This one after the other situation was made worse by the fact that we technically still had class going on while the exams were impending. Exams are always impending at my school and I suppose I just have to learn to live with it. The quarter system is not very forgiving when it comes to the winter quarter. We have “breaks” which are basically times we should still study because we have exams the moment we get back. It just doesn’t seem quite fair but I thought I knew what I was getting into before I signed up for this.

I am constantly feeling behind and worried about the next day, but I know I can survive. The biggest factors that have helped me maintain my sanity are the fact that I can really dissociate myself from my grades. Grades don’t define who you are and I certainly know that I know more than what was tested. Some questions are quite arbitrary and it’s difficult to gauge what the instructors find important. So in terms of school survival, you have to understand that you are not your grades. Also, who really expects you to do well on every single exam when you have 8 in a row.

The second largest factor that kept me sane was the support I had from my friends. We are all going through this together and it is great when we are able to encourage each other to keep chugging. I have a group chat with them and we all either encourage each other or complain about school or make jokes. This sort of support is just so necessary and I want everyone to take advantage of it. If you want to DM me via Instagram @alifeinair or email me about any struggles I would be happy to help. On top of the support, your friends are amazing study partners. They can fill your gaps and teach you more than an instructor could because they know you. I really appreciate everyone of them for helping me get through the last few weeks.

The third and most overlooked factor for surviving tough weeks, is the idea of taking care of yourself. I never want to compromise my exercise, sleep and healthy eating. Some of these might have been lacking a little, but for the most part I still maintained physical activity and an average of about 6 hours of sleep per night. 6 hours might not be a lot but it is certainly better than the 3-4 hours some of my peers were getting. I cooked when I could but it was tough. Eating healthy was probably the hardest while busy and sometimes I forgot to eat entirely. I think planning ahead would have helped with that but I am still working on that aspect of my life. Don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself, these are things you should be doing and without a healthy body, you can’t be productive.

So those are my current tips for how I survived my past couple weeks of chaos, thanks for reading and I hope you have an amazing holiday!

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