Confession: I haven't always been the best student. I skated through high school without really ever having to study. When I started college, I kept up all my bad habits and added in working for the school newspaper, two part time jobs, and (occasionally) a social life. Needless to say, my GPA was not where I wanted it to be. 

I also never learned how to study properly. My anxiety over studying made me avoid studying which made me even more anxious when I did poorly in school. 

With the help of some of my fantastic, beautiful, studious friends, and some self-reflection, I've curbed some of my bad habits, and now have a better relationship with school work. 

I'm currently one semester away from graduating, and half way through a 17 page paper due at the end of the semester. These tips have helped me cope with my study anxiety, and hopefully, they can help you as well. 

1. Get started early

By starting early, you can find out about any road blocks or questions you may have, and get clarification early. If you're working on a project, or have a lot of material you need to memorize, it can give you an extra cushion if it takes more time than you think it will. 

2. Make a plan

Coming from the queen of procrastination, I've learned that writing out what you need to do in a planner (or even the Google calendar on your phone) can help you stay on track by keeping a record of when things are due. I like to assign one assignment or a chunk of a project per day so I don't get overwhelmed.

3. Take care of yourself

No matter how much work you have to do, make sure you're staying hydrated, eating enough, and getting some sleep. No matter how much work you have to do, you won't be able to put in 100 percent effort if you're cranky or hangry. 

4. Take breaks

This is another one of my weaknesses. I tend to try to push through when I have a lot of work to do, but eventually I get frustrated and end up on another tab daydreaming about my imaginary Disney World vacation.

Focus on your work, but plan short-timed breaks so you don't get overwhelmed or bored when study anxiety creeps in. Exercising as well during your breaks can actually help you wake up, and stay focused.

5. Reach out for support

I was honestly always pretty skeptical of study groups. However, if you have friends in your classes who you know you can focus with, it can be a great way to make studying fun, and have other people to bounce ideas off of. 

If you're writing a paper or need to study alone, reach out to people you love for emotional support. I may have occasionally made my boyfriend go out and buy me Halo Top a time or two when I was stressed. I'm not proud, but I sure am grateful. 

6. Plan an incentive at the end

As someone who hates being stuck inside at my desk studying, this is one of the key things I do to help me feel motivated and minimize study anxiety. Whether it's something big like a beach vacation after graduation, small, like drinks at Taco Mac after I finish my paper, or even tiny, like a Netflix binge after I finish my homework, setting goals and rewarding myself helps me focus more on my objective and accomplishments, and less on all the work I have to do. 

Whether you want to apply for grad school after graduation, or just land an awesome job, doing well in school is important. But practicing self care is just as important. Take care of your mental health while studying this semester. Your body, your mind and your GPA will thank you.