How to manage this exam season during Ramadan
Here are some ways you can balance fasting with the stress of final exams
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and for Muslims across the world, this is one of the most important times of the year. During this month, the Muslim community engages in praying, fasting and becoming closer to their faith in general.
This year, similar to last year, Ramadan happens to fall in the month of April. For university students, April is the exam season. So, for the large Muslim community at McMaster University, finding peace while fasting and juggling the stress of exams can become very difficult. Here are some ways to observe an enjoyable and fulfilling Ramadan while succeeding in final exams.
The first is to remember you are not alone. At McMaster, there are several clubs targeted for the Muslim community. For example, the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) dedicates their time to bringing their community closer together and closer to their faith. Joining clubs like these or attending events, like Iftar socials, will help you befriend individuals who are of similar cultures to you and uphold the same morals and beliefs as you. Knowing there are people experiencing similar challenges to you can be motivating.
Organizations like the MSA also frequently have Iftar socials during Ramadan. Iftar is the meal that is eaten upon breaking one’s fast. This can be good way to take a break from studying for an exam and mingle amongst students.
You should also be wary of what you eat. I find I unintentionally skip meals during the exam season as my mind tries to juggle and keep track of every task I need to get done. Eating healthy foods in moderate amounts during Ramadan is important as whatever meal you have will be your fuel for the day.
Many students find it difficult to get into a productive routine as the piles of work they have become overwhelming. For those observing Ramadan, you can overcome this by taking advantage of the meal timings already set for you.
After having suhoor, or the pre-dawn meal which ends at dawn, you can begin studying for the day. You will feel less tired, as you have already been awake for some time and energized from the meal. As the day progresses, center your breaks closer to prayer times to not only avoid a burnout but also to take time to truly reflect and practice what Ramadan is all about, peace and tranquility.
By the time Iftar rolls around
, as the sun sets, you will have completed plenty of revision. Feeling satisfied with your productivity for the day, it is now time to break your fast and kick back for the rest of the night. Do not feel guilty for taking the rest of the night to yourself and even going to sleep early.
It can get difficult trying to attend equally to school, your faith and yourself. The most important advice is to not let it overwhelm you. Taking everything step by step at a slow and steady pace will help keep you calm and give your best efforts to whatever task you are trying to complete. This way, the peace that comes with Ramadan is not suppressed by your stress over school.