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McIntosh Trail - The Student News Site of McIntosh High School

Don't Miss a Minute of McIntosh.

McIntosh Trail - The Student News Site of McIntosh High School

5 ways to reduce stress during final season

Learning how to study efficiently can be hard, especially during finals. It is easy to get overwhelmed and not know how to plan time out properly in order to get the best results. Here are five different ways students can reduce stress and prepare for exams to make it easier. 

Learn How to Breathe

One of the most simple natural human things we do is often not focused on. Taking deep breaths before studying or taking an exam allows more airflow to go through your body and reduce nerves. 

According to University College London, Setting aside a couple of minutes every day to practice mindfulness techniques, such as breathing exercises or UCL’s 10 Minute Mind, helps you to calm down your body’s stress response and shift your attention back to the present moment,”

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As students, taking a couple of deep breaths to prepare for exams will improve performance. Different techniques, like the box breathing, and counting 5-10 seconds before letting the breath go have been proven to help with nerves. When box breathing, take a deep breath for five seconds, hold the breath for 5 seconds, slowly exhale for five seconds, and repeat until your heart rate slows down. 

According to WebMD, ”The box breathing technique  works by distracting your mind as you count to four, calming your nervous system, and decreasing stress in your body.”

Create a healthy schedule

Doing the basics such as eating well, sleeping, and exercising can improve energy and performance. By setting time to do these things, students are more likely to improve in their daily work and feel less drained. 

According to UCL, ”Pulling all-nighters, surviving on a poor diet, and getting minimal amounts of movement into your day can increase symptoms of anxiety.” 

Implementing healthy habits are going to reduce stress and anxiety. This allows students to be more attentive and work oriented in school.

For junior Naomi Simeon, her exam prep consists of having a healthy sleeping schedule and being disciplined when getting her work done.

“I usually get 7-8 hours of sleep and complete my homework as soon as I get home from school,” Simeon said.

Using online resources is a crucial part of Simeon’s study routine:

 “To study I usually use a quizlet or create my own flashcard before the exam to prepare and make sure I know the material before being tested,” Simeon said.

Be pragmatic about daily goals

Setting and achieving goals for the day not only makes students feel productive, but it is also a way for students to see the work that they have already finished and encourages them to do more. Setting goals can also help students organize instead of forgetting what work they have and staying on task:

According to UCL,”Setting realistic goals, whether you have several weeks, days or hours before your exam, helps you to put everything into perspective.”

Setting goals can be a way for students to look back into the past and see how much work was accomplished. Seeing previous completed work can feel like an award.

Have a positive mindset

Always stay positive. School can be stressful at times, but having a positive mindset can help students continue pushing forward even when it is really hard. Having a negative mindset will show through students academic, extracurricular activities, and overall way of life. Having a healthy exercise schedule can also improve your mindset and overall mood. 

For senior Caroline Lawson, she finds that exercising helps regulate her mood throughout the day.

“I work out probably about four days a week. I notice that the more I workout, the better my grades get,” Lawson said.

Lawson finds that having healthy eating habits also improves her performance in school.

“When I consistently eat three meals a day, I tend to do better in school because I have more focus on my work,” Lawson said.

Implementing these healthy habits every day can transform students’ outlook on life and allow them to be more motivated.

Ask for help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being a student is not something that is meant for people to do alone. It requires getting help from different teachers and/or classmates. Communicating with teachers about struggle area’s is highly beneficial. Suffering in Silence is not the answer, it can lead to students feeling overwhelmed and having no one to talk to about their issues. Having people to confide in when having a hard time understanding something will benefit that final grade in the gradebook,

According to UCL,”Asking for help is never shameful. In the most extreme cases, it can help save a life. When struggling, talk to friends, family, or your personal tutor about how you are feeling.” 

This takes a load off students back and allows them to get the help that they need. Scheduling a time with a teacher in the morning or after school can ease your schedule throughout the day. If students were not able to get something in class, they had a chance to spend extra time reviewing the material that they were having some trouble understanding. 

Implementing these five stress reliefs will assist your way in effortlessly crafting your exam schedules. 

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About the Contributor
Celine Jean
Celine Jean, Staff
Celine Jean is a junior serving in her first year as a staff member at the McIntosh Trail. Her passion for reading and writing had been ignited since elementary school when Jean was a part of the Poetry Club. In middle school, Jean’s interest in short stories and political ideologies took an intensive path after two years of participating in the Yale Splash program in Connecticut. Ever since 2021, Jean has volunteered with People of Impact and the Haitian American Caucus to assist the underserved community. Her involvement commenced with serving at soup kitchens and joining park cleaning events in urban and neglected areas in New York. Soon, Jean began to organize volunteering and fundraising events for domestic violence and family shelters. Jean joined God’s Love We Deliver, a non-profit that focuses on feeding hospice cancer and AIDS patients on holidays. In 9th grade, during a socially and politically sensitive climate, Jean became a founding leader of Uncommon Ground, a student group that partners with administration to learn concerns and bridge the gap of the BIPOC students. During her sophomore year at McIntosh, Jean joined the Parent Teacher Student Organization (PTSO), the Debate Team and the Spanish Club. Celine is excited about embarking on this new journey as an official staff member of the McIntosh Trail.
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