11 Things to Keep in Mind During Finals Week

There is nothing that creates a universal campus panic more than finals week. Whether or not you’re on top of studying or cramming last minute, you’re probably a bit stressed out. And, unfortunately, when we’re stressed out, we don’t always have our heads in the right place (myself included). Therefore, I decided to compile a list of small but important things to keep in mind (one for every week of the term).

1. Finals week doesn’t last forever.

I know that this week feels like it's a never-ending tunnel of darkness, but trust me, it's not. In fact, it's probably going by a lot quicker than you realize. 


2. Everybody else is in the same boat. 

Chances are, you weren't the only person in class who stayed up past midnight to study for this test. In fact, you probably aren't the only person who's still a little confused on the material on the study guide. At the very least, you can take comfort in the fact that you're not the only one freaking out this week. 


3. You always have a support system when things get a little worse than expected. 

Even if your friends are too busy to talk, there are always people to talk to. Make a quick appointment with guidance or call your family. Trust me; there is always someone there to talk to when you feel a little overwhelmed. 


4. It's okay to be a little emotional. 

Even if the concept of crying because of finals has become a joke in itself, it is okay to feel emotionally overwhelmed this week. Just make sure to take some time to re-center yourself, and don't take your frustrations out on your friends or roommates. 


5. It's okay to take a break and/or reward yourself. 

After all, no good ever came from depriving yourself of all joy and relaxation during finals week. Even if you literally have to schedule it in, set aside at least half an hour a day to recharge. Go take a walk, buy yourself one of those "fancy" coffee drinks, or watch one episode of your current binge on Netflix. You're working hard enough as it is. 

6. Know when you need to say "no." 

After all, as important as it is to take a break and not work ourselves to death, it's just as important to keep focused and on track. Set timers, make a to-do list, and, when you have to, do say no. As hard as it may be to turn down your friends when they invite you to go to Steak 'n Shake or watch a movie, you need to do what's best so you feel confident walking in to take that test. 

7. Be aware of your study habits. 

Although most of us have figured out what works best for us by now, we sometimes slip into habits that don't really help us learn the material. Although group study sessions or listening to music may help some people, they could also be the thing distracting you. If you find yourself struggling to focus, perhaps it's time to try something new. 


8. Sleep is still important. 

Despite the common practice of pulling all-nighters to study, it's still extremely important that you try to get a decent night's sleep. Without sleep, you may find yourself out of focus or napping during the test. However, if you insist on staying up late to study, make sure to set a few hours aside for a good nap or two. A little sleep will go a long way. 


9. Make sure you're eating. 

Sometimes it happens: we're too busy studying and we forget to eat. Or, we decide to sacrifice an entire meal in exchange for fruit snacks and mini muffins. No matter how crazy your schedule gets during finals, find time to eat at least one full meal a day, or try to snack on some healthier options. I know chips and chocolate probably sound much more appetizing than almonds or mini cheese wedges when trying to type up a final paper, but they'll keep your energy up longer. 

10. Stay hydrated! 

Although that fourth cup of coffee or tea is probably helping you stay up to finish your work, it's also probably dehydrating you with its caffeine. Plus, if you don't stay hydrated enough, you could develop strong headaches and migraines. So drink lots and lots of water. 

And, last but not least: 

11. Spring Break is less than one week away! 

Yes, it really is that close!