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Got finals season stress? Breathe deep, follow these tips

Finals season might be scary, but if you have a distinct plan and remember to relax, you'll be able to make it to the end of the semester without too much stress.  – Photo by Pixabay.com

Finals season is heating up as the Fall 2021 semester and our first semester back on campus comes to an end. Finals week can be incredibly stressful and overwhelming as we’re bombarded with exams, papers and projects. And for some classes, you might even have a combination of the three.

In college, we kind of have to accept the fact that this week is going to suck and be hard — but it doesn’t mean we can’t complain. It’s perfectly okay to feel overwhelmed, struggle or even cry a little bit.

It’s a difficult time that can have an enormous impact on a college student’s mental health: anxiety and worry about if we’re good enough or have enough time, or just not having the motivation to kick it in gear are all severe and valid concerns.

Nonetheless, finals week is something that we all have to endure — you’re not alone. So take a deep breath because your grades aren’t going to rule the rest of your life. They probably won’t even matter by next year.

But to help you get to next year, here are a few things to keep in mind so you can kick ass during finals this year:

Set a schedule and prioritize

One of the things I’ve found to help me during finals is to make a plan and try to stick to it as best as I can.

Make a schedule to designate specific times to study, work on papers and projects and do any other tasks you need to do during the week. Reorganize and prioritize your tasks based on what's most important, like what has the biggest impact on your grades or what is going to be most time-consuming.

Going into the week with a detailed plan and a sense of direction will help keep you from getting too overwhelmed.

Take care of yourself first

Finals and your education are obviously important. But taking care of yourself should be above everything else.

I’m the biggest culprit of pulling all-nighters multiple days in a row and getting so sucked into my studies that I forget to eat or even leave the library for days at a time. So take it from me: This seems fine at the moment because you need to get stuff done, but in the long run, you’re only hurting yourself more.

Make sure you take study breaks, get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals and drink a lot of water.

Change your perspective

Getting a bad grade on a final feels like the end of the world, and the stress and anxiety of making sure that doesn’t happen can be harmful. Try to look at things a little differently this time around.

You’ve made it this far in your education, so why would anything be different now? You've proven yourself to be smart and hardworking, and you’re only worried about doing well because you care about your education — and that’s all that matters. If you didn’t care, we wouldn’t be talking about it.

Instead of being stressed about your performance, recognize the effort you’re putting in, how much you’ve learned and how much you’ve achieved already. Be proud of yourself for taking on this challenge, and recognize your own power and abilities. Take finals week as an opportunity to show off and demonstrate just how great you are.

Finals week is hard — there’s no denying it. But always remember that your physical and mental health needs to come first over everything else. You’ve earned everything you’ve accomplished, and finals stress is just one small bump in the road on your way to your bigger goals.

Be kind to yourself this week! You'll do great.


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