Reviewing for chemical engineering boards is tough. Whether you’re at the beginning or the end of the review, there’s always something that needs to be done. And with everything that’s going on in the world right now, it can feel like there’s even more pressure to succeed. So how do you deal? Here are a few tips on how to reduce stress while studying.
First of all, make sure you’re taking breaks! It might seem counterintuitive, but studies have shown that taking breaks actually helps you retain information better. So, every 20 minutes or so, stand up, stretch, and take a couple of deep breaths – this is called the Pomodoro technique (p.s. Pomodoro is tomato in Italian, so I don’t know why on earth is that for focusing technique). It’ll do wonders for your body and your mind. After all, having to do material balance for 3 hrs on a recycle-bypass reactor is as crazy as it gets, so learn how to chill!
Second, try some relaxation techniques. If you’re finding it hard to focus, try closing your eyes and picturing yourself in a calm place. Whether it’s the beach or the forest or simply your happy place, visualization can help center you and make it easier to focus on the task at hand. If your mind cannot imagine these wonderful places because of the stress of the upcoming chemical engineering boards, either complement it with soothing music from YouTube or Spotify or focus on an object for 10 mins at least 20 m away from you.
Finally, don’t forget to eat healthy and get enough sleep! When your body is well-rested and nourished, you’ll be able to think more clearly and focus more easily. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself both physically and mentally. I cannot stress enough that your sleep-wake cycle should complement the schedule of the chemical engineering board exam will be, in which we recommend sleeping at 9-10 pm and waking at 4-5 am in the morning. This is so that your mental acuity will be at its peak when you start reviewing or taking the boards.
Stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to take over. By taking breaks, practicing relaxation techniques, and taking care of yourself both physically and mentally, you can make studying less stressful and more enjoyable. Give these tips a try the next time you hit the books!