As we all know, finals season is upon us. With finals comes a lot of stress—whether it be studying for exams, writing essays, or finishing up final projects. If finals have got you down and you need a way to beat that stress, try these five steps.
- Write stuff down
Every student has a million things on their mind during finals week. So, make a list of things you need to do! Writing down tasks is a great way to organize your schedule, and it will feel so good to physically check or cross off a task on that list. Writing your to-do list down will make you feel more organized and confident going into each assignment, and once you’re done, it will feel amazing to move on to the next step.
Taking breaks from studying or writing is so important during finals week. For your own sanity and mental health, you need to take breaks—whether it be watching your comfort TV show, eating a snack, or just going on a walk to clear your mind. Maybe the best way to take a break is to get outside and exercise. Getting fresh air can be super helpful for stress, and I find that going on runs or walks along the Charles River Esplanade is the perfect way for me to reset and get my body moving. If you’re not into running, yoga or at-home workouts are always great options too.
- Ask for help if you need it
Sometimes it’s hard to study a semester’s worth of material all on your own. It’s also hard to write a 20-page research paper by yourself. So, ask for help if you need it. Text a few friends in your classes or even just ask your roommate to quiz you on the material. When I’m studying or writing an essay, I call my mom just to talk through all of the material and get some ideas (it does help that my mom is an English professor too).
- Positive self-talk
Positive self-talk is so important during finals week. If you don’t believe you can do it, then you probably won’t perform as well on a test or an essay. Studies have proven that even just saying to yourself that “you can do it” results in better performance on a test. My mom always tells me to do the “superwoman pose” before a test so that I feel confident and empowered (you don’t need to do this, but it’s worth a try). Nevertheless, something as simple as just writing “you can do this” in your notebook will keep you motivated to do the best you can.
This is maybe the most important item on this list. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to listen to your body during finals week and know when it’s time to take a break and rest. Not to mention, all the things we consume during finals week don’t help our sleep schedules (coffee, soda, etc.). So, make sure you listen to your body and get a good 8 hours (at least) of sleep each night so that you can be ready for those exams.