How To Be In A Good Mental State During Finals

We’re in the middle of finals week, and this is the time that we put in those extra hours of studying and fewer hours of sleep. I am an advocate for a strong work ethic when it comes to academics but not when it interferes with mental health. Over the years of studying for finals from High School to now, I’ve tried many different methods to make this a little easier. I realized that I need to change my attitude about finals. 

Putting pressure on myself to do well makes it much harder. Instead, make a Finals Routine that incorporates things you love so you're not dreading the process. Before I start studying, I treat myself to a Starbucks Holiday Coffee, I sit on my floor or bed and layout all my notebooks, assignments, and syllabus. I put on a Christmas playlist and organize my assignments in each class. This isn't the actual studying but rather me preparing my mind for what I’m about to study. I use a whiteboard and in some fun colors write down each class and underneath what I have to do for each class and the date of my final.  

Take one class at a time. Remember to use positive language when talking about finals. Instead of “I’m going to fail” you can say “I’m trying my best to be as prepared as I can” The power of words is strong, so don’t make it harder by using negative language. I take finals as an opportunity to show my professor what I’ve learned. Although it may not seem like it, professors appreciate effort and passion. And if they see you're working hard, they might help you out in the final grade. Also if you find a passion for what you're doing, you will be more inclined to work well. Think about how this class is going to prepare you for your future career and use that to motivate yourself. 

Remember that you cannot study for every class the same, especially if they are in different formats. For essays whether you have a rough draft or you did not start at all, make an outline and brainstorm ideas. I suggest just writing and let your words flow. You can always go back and make revisions, add sources, or change. For multiple-choice and short-answer formats, flashcards work well. Test yourself and have someone else test you as well. I like to study for one hour then take a 5-minute break, then get back into it. I also like to switch up where I study. I might spend the first 2 hours in the library, then the next 2 in my room. Studying for finals doesn’t have to be a mental burden. Work hard but also be in a good mental space.