Finals week is one of the most stressful times in the semester, or for some like me, the entire year.
Coming back from Thanksgiving after eating myself sick, I have no motivation to do the six papers and four finals due in the two weeks left before Christmas break. While it may be hard to get away for destressing events or even to buy more coffee while holed up studying, here are ten tips that may seen obvious but are easily forgotten and can make a huge difference in health, attitude, and productivity during finals.
- Pace yourself
If you don’t already have a separate finals schedule, I suggest you make one. I have one that is basically just a list but lays out every test, paper, and extra credit assignment based on when they’re due and how much they’re worth. It makes the week that much easier on myself and anyone who has to be around me.
- Get sleep when you can
As much as going to Market Street for the fourth night in a row to pull an all-nighter sounds like a good idea, it might be better to miss the few hours of study time and get some shut eye. If exhaustion sets in, it will only be harder to get work done. You don’t want to make yourself sick.
- Drink water
Water is one of the healthiest things for your body. If you don’t usually drink water often, now would be a great time to start. It has many beneficial qualities, including helping keep skin clear, fighting against viruses like “finals flu,” and reducing stress.
- Go outside
Go for a walk or even a run if you get a few minutes. The weather has been a little chilly, but overall it is a really pretty fall, and it could be helpful to get out frustrations or stress through exercise.
- Take a hot shower
This is incredibly underrated. Showers can be revitalizing, especially if you’ve been holed up between class, the library, and your room studying. Washing your hair and feeling clean can really be a boost to keep that motivation up.
- Eat enough
This one seems like a no-brainer but between professor’s office hours, due dates, and trying to figure out what I wrote on my schedule, it’s hard to find time to sit down and eat more than Pop Tarts and some frozen veggies. Even leaving your study setting for a little while to join friends and go to either the cafeteria or a favorite restaurant around the corner can get your mind out of the books long enough to gain energy to hit them hard again when you get back.
- Don’t complain about how many finals you have
Everyone has them. Everyone feels like they are dying. Everyone is stressed. Though all of your friends of course care about you and your state of well-being, we’re all there with you. A negative attitude will only make things worse. No one is expected a stressed college student during finals to be full of rainbows, but having a positive attitude can sometimes make things easier to process, and therefore, easier to get completed.
- Talk to your professors
They are here to help you. Don’t stay confused. My first semester at LCU, I was super-confused about a final paper. I didn’t think to have a simple conversation during the professor’s office hours, and I did it very wrong. Unless you ask a question that is explicitly answered in the syllabus they told you to look at eight times last class, they’ll be happy to help if you’re lost.
- Study groups (know how you study)
Even if you still don’t know any of the people in your classes and don’t want to be the one to form a study group, you can still change the environment in which you are studying. It might be groups of your friends, people from your classes, or just sitting in Starbucks and seeing who comes through. Knowing how you personally study best will help you be as successful as you can be.
This sounds cliché, but never underestimate the power of prayer. God is on our side, and wants the best for us. While praying for help on the final you didn’t study for may not be the best strategy, asking for peace and discernment is a great idea.
I hope that these reminders were helpful as this semester comes to a close. Study hard and good luck.