7 Tips to Avoid Finals Depression

Finals are a stressful time for everyone. Stress can be a motivator, or it can turn into a mild depression hindering your performance and hurting all the hard work you’ve done for the past ten weeks. Around finals, people seem to keep to themselves, study more, and stay up all night to study. These things can actually hurt your performance during your finals and just make you feel worse. It’s important especially during finals week not to dwell on what you cannot control and instead look for ways to positively approach finals. With finals week right around the corner, keeping these seven tips in mind can help you have a positive attitude and avoid finals week depression.

1. Plan out your studying time

It’s important to dedicate time to studying to avoid the added stress from procrastination. Cramming for exams isn’t effective and only causes more stress. Also, planning out your day helps relieve some excess stress and you’ll have time to get everything done efficiently.

2. Make time for activities other than studying

It’s not healthy to studying for all hours of the day. Make sure you’re making time to go outside and breath the fresh air. Taking a walk or just sitting outside and enjoying the sunshine are great ways to take an effective break from studying.

3. Reward yourself for studying

It’s important to acknowledge hard work, so treat yourself after a long day (or week) of studying. Also, make sure to take small breaks between studying to effectively retain the information. It’s important to acknowledge your success so you don’t get caught up on the negatives.

4. Don’t focus too much on the grades

If you studied really hard on the exam and didn't do well, it is OK. Grades don’t determine your self-worth. The important thing to consider is how much time and effort you put into studying. Some classes you won’t have to study much and you will still pass and others you study for a really long time and barely pass. Each class is different so don't dwell on your grades for too long. 

5. Even if you did not ace every final, don’t beat yourself up

It’s really hard to do great on every final and some subjects you may just be better at that others. If you feel like you didn’t spend enough time studying for one final over the other, maybe you should change up your study habits next quarter and dedicate equal time to every class. It’s important to focus on improving rather than thinking about how bad you did. Every mistake is a lesson to learn from. 

6. Communicate with your friends

It's important to have a support system you can rely on to help you stay positive and encourage you even when you are not feeling the best. Being open to your friends about your feelings is really helpful because when you bottle your feelings up, it only magnifies the stress. Bake some cookies with your friends, and take turns venting about the stressful week.

7. Reach out when you feel overwhelmed

Reaching out to your professor, a counselor, or another trusted person is very helpful even if you feel like your friends help to relieve some depressed feelings leading into finals. Your professor can explain what is expected of you on the final, so you can be better prepared and if they know you’re struggling they may have some helpful tips. A counselor is also very helpful especially if you are feeling depressed. They can help you understand your feelings and help you take serious steps to manage your depression. It is important to let someone know if you’re struggling so you can get immediate help and see progress.

Although finals week is the one of the most dreaded week of college, there are positive ways to approach finals to maintain exceptional mental health. Whether you plan out some time for self-love or fun with friends around your studying, there are ways to manage your time to create an equal balance of work and fun. Good luck!

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