Warning: finals week is coming, and it’s coming quick—way quicker than any of us want it to. I know, I know, even the thought of it stresses me out. Flipping through my planner seeing all that I have to do makes me feel like I’m outrunning a tornado. Luckily, I have found some alternative ways to spend my time that slow my heart rate and my mind just a little. Here are some things you can do as the countdown to finals week begins:
1. Go for a walk. As long as the weather permits (which never happens in Cleveland), it can be so relaxing to just take a walk around campus. With the sun shining and other students out and about, my upcoming exams do not even cross my mind.
2. Go to the gym. Whether you’re a gym rat or not, a killer workout relieves any and all stress. You can run a lot faster than you think while you’re under pressure. Try running away from your problems (literally!).
3. Blast music and have a personal dance party. This is always a good idea. Go in your room or your car or in public if you really don’t care, and just blast some music and sing and dance until your voice goes out or until your timed study break is over. I recommend some throwback jams that bring you back to the stress free days of middle school.
4. Watch Netflix. If you have the time, I suggest breaking up study sessions with an episode on Netflix. TV shows can be the perfect way to transition your brain from one class to the other. My current show (a.k.a. current addiction) is Grey’s Anatomy, which allows me to be on a emotional rollercoaster over something that isn’t school.
5. Put on a face mask. My friends and I absolutely love doing face masks together to get our minds off everything. Face masks are especially necessary during this time of the year with all the stress breakouts. My favorites are the peel-off masks from Freeman, they’re inexpensive and fun to try to peel off all in one go.
6. Paint your nails. Ever since I was a kid, I have had the bad habit of biting and picking at my nails. I started painting my nails in high school as a way to stop biting them. I’ve kept up with that ever since. And now, I make sure my nails are freshly painted at all times in order to prevent them from being crusty stubs by the time I get home for the summer. Use bright colors to remember it’s almost summertime!
7. Clean your room. This time of the semester can make your room look like a tornado actually went through it. Between rolling out of bed and throwing on whatever clothes you touch first, and rummaging through textbooks looking for the right one, and also trying to pack it all up for the summer, everything turns into a disaster. If you need a study break, do some laundry, fold your clothes, and make your bed first. Then start putting those items you haven’t touched since September in boxes to get ready to go.
8. Create some new wall decor. Painting is a hobby I just picked up on a little while ago. I bought a bunch of new canvases and paint colors to prepare for finals week. I love looking online for inspiration at what to paint and if I find something that seems a bit too difficult to freehand, I search for a tutorial on YouTube. Here is something I painted recently that took my mind off of everything else going on:
9. Write in a journal. My grandma has been buying me journals and cute notebooks for Christmas for as long as I can remember. In high school I started journaling everyday about my feelings and what’s up in my life. This has became an amazing outlet for me to just go off. I write about what’s happening and how I am feeling and after writing about it I feel like it all gets off my chest. Using fun colored pens and drawing cute pictures also makes it a lot of fun.
10. Call a family member. This is something some of us forget to do in the midst of our busy schedules. But, this is the best way to de-stress before finals. I know my mom is always there to hear me complain, I mean, she’s been listening to me complain for almost twenty years now. Your family gets you like nobody else does, and a call home can make everything better. As I like to do whenever I call my family, I put in my dinner order for the first night I get home.
The end of finals week is like Christmas morning to college students, except instead of getting presents, we get to be done with school for a few months. It’s scary and stressful to get through, but the grass is definitely greener on the other side. Remember to get enough sleep and take care of yourself, and good luck on exams!