Taking A Breather

Buckle up your seat belts, folks, we’re approaching exam season full throttle.

Jim feels you. Jim understands. Photo source: giphy.com
Jim feels you. Jim understands.
Photo source: giphy.com
I’ve never understood (but secretly) envied those who can do all their studying in large marathon study sessions. Anything more than two hours at a stretch will have me reaching for my laptop to engage in some therapeutic Ellen watching.
Ellen also knows. Ellen understands. Photo Source: Tumblr

My studying patterns usually take the following form:

An hour of intensive studying.

Half an hour break.

Another hour of intensive studying.

Half an hour break….

And so on….

The system seems to have worked all right for me so far.

What I find really enhances the whole experience is the sort of study breaks that I take. 

For example, I’ve learned the hard way that YouTube-studybreaks are almost never a good idea. Lured by the prospect of short and sweet ten-minute videos, you find yourself clutching wads of tissue paper an hour later, watching footage of soldiers being reunited with their dogs and no idea how you got there from Buzzfeed.

Ever since that episode, YouTube has been ‘forbidden territory’ for break time perusal.

As are eBooks and Facebook-browsing. (sigh)

Even so, its so important not to deprive yourself of some entertainment to bring some light into a dreary study time session

In case you’re looking for inspiration, here are some of my favourite ways to relax in between bursts of productivity:

  1. Shaking it off

Whether its a short little cardio routine in my makeshift gym (read: basement) or a more intense dance workout (Bollywood Zumba, anyone?), moving around always makes me feel super productive and satisfied with things.

(I’m sure Annette can attest to the feel-good aspects of exercise) but getting my blood flowing also exhausts me just enough that I’m willing to curl up on my sofa and read quietly.

If you’d like to take this tip to a whole new level, though- there’s a free Bollywood dance class being held at Hart House on April 14th! ( I’m v v sad about the fact that I have prior commitments and can’t go 🙁

2.  Surround myself with green

Photo Credit: previous blogger Mary
Photo Credit: previous blogger Mary

While so far this spring, (ahem, ahem, Mother Nature) green-ness has been hard to come by, the Life @ U of T video crew highlighted some great places right on campus to take in all that wondrous chlorophyll and feel at ease with the world. Momentarily, anyway.

Take a look at the video!


3.  Relax….Rejuvenate

Thanks to a Buzzfeed article, I’ve found some incredible websites that help me clear my mind and drift away from everything for a few moments.

My favourites include:


It’s so simple. Just go to the website, pick out your soothing background of choice and relax. Even the darkest of basement study corners will suddenly seem like the beaches of Aruba or a warm Amazonian rainforest.

The Quiet Place


I don’t quite know how to describe this one.

Just give it a go and see for yourself!

The Thoughts Room

There are little things more comforting than typing out all your fears and worries into a box and watching the words drop and fade away like they don’t matter.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 12.07.11 AM

Other unusual Emaan Exam Season Practices include reading my textbooks out loud in a posh British accent (you’d be surprised at how this helps me remember stuff), bribing myself using the Internet’s recommended gummy bear trick and bringing in family to help discipline me over Skype.

Grandmother: You know, Aunty X’s son just got a top job at Microsoft? Full benefits and everything!

Me: Oh god I need to study.

On a more serious note, remember not to get yourself too overwhelmed by exam season, U of T!

There will always be help whenever you need it. 

Stay chill, friends!

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