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Mental Health

How To Survive Finals Period

Finals period is probably the most stressful time of the semester, and finals period during the Spring semester  is a whole different animal. You’re balancing moving out, handling storage, travel, and plans for the summer while having to also focus on doing well on final papers and exams. For freshmen especially, this can be a stressful time because it’s the first time for many having to handle moving your own things out of the dorm and still remembering to do your everyday tasks. It’s not enough to just sit down and grind out a paper or read a textbook, studying for finals during these next few weeks requires organization, discipline, and a lot of positive energy! Here are some tips to study for finals without feeling drained and wanting to drop everything to take an extended nap.


Start your move-out early: Don’t wait until reading period and really don’t wait until final’s period to start packing up. Start boxing up what you want to put in storage or mail back home, if you’re planning on doing so. If you’re being picked up or driving away with the majority of your belongings, it’s still a good idea to start packing up boxes and cleaning up your room for move-out. You’re going to want to use your energy during reading period to study and do your finals papers, not packing and moving your things into storage!

Make a plan for studying: Don’t just plan a vague block of study time. Plan what and how you’re studying! Look through your notes and assignments, and make an excel sheet (or just write it on a piece of paper) of what you need to study, and how prepared you feel on each topic. This way, you won’t waste too much time on what you already know, and you can focus on spending your free time on more difficult subjects.

Don’t sleep in too late: It can be tempting, especially for those who had 9 A.Ms during the semester, to try to catch up on sleep during reading period. It’s fine to sleep in a little later, but definitely avoid sleeping in until the afternoon everyday. If you do, it’ll be harder to wake up and be energized and motivated to study. A way to make this work in your favor even more is to agree to meet friends for breakfast or to go to the gym at an early time, so you’ll feel like you have a responsibility to your friends to wake up on time.

Eat regularly: Without a class schedule, you’ll likely miss meals or eat at odd times resulting in eating too much or not at all. Try to keep your eating patterns to make sure you don’t start unhealthy habits that may be bad for you in the end. Your health impacts your studies, so make it a priority.

Recognize extended hours of studying at a time can be counter-productive: Your brain and body can only handle a certain amount of sitting and studying at a time. After a certain point, you’ll be exhausting yourself without retaining any knowledge. It can be worth your while to take a break, or just finally get to bed and start again in the morning. At the end of the day, you’ve tried your hardest throughout the entire semester, and as long as you continue your good habits and avoid overwhelming yourself, you’ll do great!  

I am a sophomore at JHU majoring in international studies and history.
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