Students exams
Google picture of students during exam time

In university, May is a month that often results in excessive anxiety. Students are caught in what seems like a ‘slow-motion’ state of mayhem – trying to study for the much dreaded and yet equally anticipated exams, all the while putting the final touches on all the assignments and tuts which inevitably contribute to passing or failing the year.

The May month might remain a cut among its companions nor give natal to remarkable events to some ends of the world, yet all this remains a little skirmish to the almost crippling discomfort that it poses to the students. This is an acclaimed crucial and paramount month due to these reasons:

Unlike other months May, the month named after the Greek goddess of fertility, remains in a pivotal situ of determinant tests that reserve your seat in the June exam. This inherently procrastinates and deduces your period of self-preparation for the consecutive imperative tasks.

In addition, one still needs to be psyched up for the prime objective – June exams. These also come with their own nerve-wracking treachery that will acquaint you with a roller coaster ride. Over and above you have the peripheral time consuming tasks such as assignments, projects, quizzes, practical assessments and tuts that also require your undivided attention.

All this work takes turns in a fleeting stipulated time frame. In the twinkle of an eye you breathlessly find yourself seated for the exam clouded with the relief of jumping the gun contrasted by the phobia of not being well prepared.

It is no doubt that this inclination often results in mediocre or even baffling outcomes. While some may be content about this, it still leaves a dissatisfaction on the despaired countenances of the rest. There are many ways of killing a cat but one of the best ways to actually triumph over this abstract confusion is to apply the 5 Second Rule that will enhance your studies as well as your life.

Mel Robbins an inventor of this phenomena mentioned in her book that “if you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea”.

So essentially the sensational 5 Second Rule works in the following manner: the moment you feel yourself hesitate (when you know you should do something, perhaps studying for that tedious test taught by one of your undesired facilitators) start counting backwards 5-4-3-2-1, then GO.

The Rule is proven as a form of metacognition. When you use it, you shift mental gears, interrupt your habit of overthinking and awaken your pre-frontal cortex making change easy. The rule acts as a “starting ritual” that breaks bad habits and triggers positive new behaviour change.

This is the kind of a stepping stone that could actually bring forth academic breakthrough especially with these exams fast approaching. So in case you find yourself in an involuntary state of disinterest, you might want to use this rule.

Thulani Zwane

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