How to Not Study for Finals

It’s that wonderful time of the year when the weather finally gets warm enough to wear single layers and sandals, when it’s finally time to pull out the sunglasses and drive around with the windows down. When it’s finally time to… that’s right, study for finals.

The week of my Sociology 101 exam was a long one. I was fortunate enough to have the whole week to study until Friday morning, when I could finish my exam and call it a semester. I’m pretty satisfied regarding the use of my time during the days preceding my exam, but there were the occasional relapses which I paid for by staying up later than what’s good for me the night before my 8 AM date with a Scantron and a No. 2 pencil.

Here’s my list of do-nots:

  1. Do not sit in the kitchen: If you’re anything like me, you’ll get up every few minutes to hunt through cabinets and pantry for what you know is not there. You just looked for those cookies 20 minutes ago. They won’t appear out of thin air — this isn’t Heaven. It’s college, and finals week. So get out of the kitchen.
  2. Do not keep all 15 social media sites open: Seriously, you’re asking for a distraction. Close those tabs while the books are open!
  3. Do not opt for an all-nighter: It’s tempting to think, “It’s just one night, I can handle it.” Don’t waste your time now, thinking you’ll be fresh and attentive at 3 AM if you’re usually sound asleep at that time. I’ve come close to pulling an all-nighter, but I managed to squeeze in an hour of sleep. Nevertheless, I was lethargic and beyond exhausted later that day.
  4. Do not forbid breaks: Breaks can boost your spirit and morale. I find it easiest to schedule breaks with prayer times. When it’s time for the afternoon prayer, perform fresh ablution, take your time praying, eat a little snack, and then return to the study grind. This gives you time to relax and something to look forward to while flipping through those seemingly endless pages.
  5. Do not forget God: Yes, you should study and study some more, but do not forget to seek God’s assistance. God wishes ease upon us, not difficulty. Ask Him to increase your knowledge, and have faith that the work you put in will be rewarded with what is best.

Oh Allah! Nothing is easy except what You have made easy. If You wish, You can make the difficult easy.