Handling Stress as the Semester Winds Down

Finals week is practically here—and the papers, projects, and exams that we’ve all been putting off are slowly creeping up. It’s easy to ignore responsibilities; everyone wants to enjoy being with their friends for the last few weeks of the semester, but procrastination will only make the stress of finals week worse. Prioritizing and managing stress and responsibilities will have you acing papers and exams, staying healthy and stress-free, and still getting to spend plenty of what little time is left with your friends. Check out these tips for striking a healthy work-life balance and owning your last few weeks of the semester.

  1. Make lists. Making a to-do list or list of due dates will save you the mental strain of having to remember everything. When all your responsibilities are written out, it’s easier to make sure you’re on top of it.
  2. Get some sleep. Staying healthy and (relatively) sane during this period is essential. Getting at least seven hours of sleep every night will keep you up and running and make you more productive. Your mental and physical health is just as important as your GPA.
  3. Take breaks. Make a plan to grind out as much work as possible in a set amount of time. When that time ends, do anything but think about schoolwork. Watch some TV, grab something to eat, spend time with your friends, take a walk, anything that helps you clear your head and stay motivated when it’s time to go back to work again.
  4. Talk it out. It can be tough to handle the stress of finals week all by yourself. Remember that we’re all in this together and take the time to vent if you need to. Commiserating with your friends about your work can be a fun stress-reliever and can help you keep a positive attitude.
  5. Take advantage of on-campus resources. Most student orgs will hold some type of stress buster event in the upcoming weeks. Take the time to visit the dogs on the quad, grab some free coffee from your RA, or attend the end-of-year celebration of your favorite club. If the stress becomes too much, make use of the health center and counseling services—schedule an appointment to speak with a counselor and talk everything out or get some stress management tips.

Finals week is stressful for everyone, and everyone handles stress differently. The key is to keep everything in perspective and try to enjoy these last few stressful weeks as much as possible. Keep these tips and many others in mind as you work your way through all your assignments. You got this!