Finals week is almost always an absolute nightmare for college students. We’re cramming, sleep deprived, stressed. It often seems like there’s not enough time in the day to do all the things we need to do, especially with the extra pressure of exams and last minute studying hanging over our heads. All of this can be really overwhelming for many.
However, there are a few healthy practices that could make finals week just a bit more relaxing and manageable.
Firstly, as much as everyone absolutely hates it, avoid cramming. Procrastination is a result of anxiety. Students get stressed about their work, but putting it off will just make that feeling worse. One day you’ll be putting off a reading early in the semester. Next thing you know, you‘re skimming it in desperation the night before your final exam with the sense of impending doom creeping into your sleepy, caffeine fueled brain.
Honestly, the best thing to do is get ahead early in the semester, even if it's just by a little bit. That way, you can productively stay ahead and if you have a rough patch you’ll still be at a better pace than you would’ve otherwise. Plus, most of us feel optimistic and motivated early on in the semester.
On that note, don’t try to “feel out” the class at the beginning of the semester. Sometimes, students don’t do the readings because it might not be needed. Most of the time, they are needed unfortunately. I promise you, if you’re concerned about cost, 9 times out of 10, you can find your textbook for free online if you look hard enough.
If you do all that, you‘re successfully setting yourself up for the next tip: balancing your time. If you spend every moment of finals week going over notes, readings, powerpoints, and lecture videos, you’re going to go crazy. You need to give your mind a break and take care of your body. Take breaks while you’re studying. Watch an episode of a good show on a break. Play a game. Go on a walk. Work out. Take a long shower. Do something you enjoy that’ll help you relax and destress.
On the topic of taking care of your body, try not to stress eat! I get it, you want to have a snack to shovel into your mouth while you‘re hunched over your desk at 2:00 A.M., or maybe you need just one more Monster to get you through this next chapter. However, doing that is just going to leave you feeling gross. Snacks and caffeine are good in small amounts. Try to take a break and make a real dinner; the perfect study break.
I like to study at the Eateries because of this especially. There’s tons of comfy seats with charging ports. You can get coffee and dinner. Plus, it’s open pretty late in the evening.
Additionally, a change of scenery might help you put in a better mindset to work. Besides the Eateries, you can go to the Student Center. There’s some food options, tons of seats, and long hours. Going at night is especially peaceful, but it’s also nice during the day when the sun comes through the big windows facing the pond. The library is huge and peaceful, with tons of deskspace and available computers. There’s also various comfy seating areas in different halls across campus, but those are sometimes more difficult to claim, especially when people are running around to classes.
There’s tons of other things you could do to help make finals week less stressful for you. Everyone is different! Regardless, remember to try to balance your time and be kind to yourself.