Advice for a Successful and Healthy Finals' Week

Exams are stressful and can be deteriorating to our mental health, as well as our physical state. Muscle tension, heart palpitations, and excessive sweating, among others, can be actual symptoms caused by the anxiety that finals can bring upon any student. To avoid a potential burnout or panic attack, I have my own set of self-given advice that I follow to the dot every finals’ week and would love to share it with you…

  • Give yourself an actual schedule for studying and stick to it. If you are too immersed in studying, you might get tense and cloud your mind with too many unnecessary details. Whatever your studying technique is, reading - writing - study groups, do it at an appropriate time, and give yourself time to breathe. My study schedule is for one hour to three hours with a fifteen-minute break in the middle.

  • Make sure to have snacks and water with you when you sit down to study. So later you don’t trick yourself into a “snack run” and waste 20 minutes avoiding going back to your desk.

  • Have a designated studying place, with good lighting and comfortable sitting. Tell everyone in your house, including your pets, to leave you alone while you are studying. That way you can fully concentrate and finish faster.

  • If you have a really tough test, study for that one first but don’t forget to follow the first rule. Because studying for a big test may feel like you’ll never learn everything, and the truth is you probably won’t, and for that, you should learn to prioritize the material that is key to the topics in the test.

  • Have a good night sleep the night before the test. I know this may sound controversial because we are so used to pulling all-nighters. But the truth is, you need to be kind to your brain if you want it to work successfully for you during the test.

  • Eat. Have a balanced dinner the night before and have breakfast before you take the test. I know that nerves can cause nausea but nutrients are essential for the successful execution of your brain’s function.

  • Don’t try to review right before the test. If you want to give your notes a quick look, do it ten to twenty minutes before your test. Right before your test, you should take a break. Drink coffee or tea, have a snack, lay your head down on your desk and close your eyes concentrating on your breathing.

  • Right after the test, forget about it, rest and move on to the next. You have a tough week ahead of you. Be happy that you did your best.

  • Finally, be kind to yourself. We aren’t perfect. One grade from one class isn’t a trustable measure for your intelligence, self-worth, and success.

Hope it helps and may the odds be ever in your favor!