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Navigating Stress During Finals

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ODU chapter.

The time of year that all college students dread is coming right around the corner: finals season. This is quite possibly the worst time of year for any college student. After a long semester full of hard work, we should be able to end with relaxing. The sad truth is many of us get slammed with finals. Since it is inevitable, you should prepare yourself with ways to reduce this stress both physically and mentally. 

While studying and making sure you are prepared for your exams is important, it is unhealthy to be sitting at a desk all day cramming for finals. Taking breaks is essential when studying. This allows your brain to rest. If you find you are having difficulties with knowing when to take a break, setting a timer or trying out a study technique can be helpful. During your breaks, you can do whatever you’d like. One thing I really like to do is go on a walk. I find this to be really relaxing as it gets me outside in the fresh air. Another way to help with stress is to make sure to prep yourself in the coming weeks. Creating a study plan will be really helpful. Take a look at each of your syllabi to see which classes you have exams in, and plan how you want to go about studying for them. This can include figuring out which of your favorite study methods will work best for different classes. You can also schedule the days you would like to study for each class. This creates space in your schedule so you will not be cramming at the last minute. You can make this fun by studying with friends and picking out different places around campus to sit and study. 

Finals are a time of feeling extremely overwhelmed and burnt out. These feelings can be hard to navigate and can manifest in many ways. Remembering to put yourself and your mental health first can be hard, but it is essential in times like these. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, you should implement something to center yourself. For example, breathing exercises can go a long way to help clear your mind. Yoga is another great thing to do when you are overwhelmed. This gets your body to stretch and also clears your head. If you enjoy exercising, you can utilize a quick workout as a break for your mind. Being kind to yourself always helps during finals week. Being mean to yourself will not make you any more productive. You’re working hard, so you should take it easy on your body and brain.

One of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health is sleep. Many college students do not get enough sleep on a regular school day. The time that they need to sleep is instead replaced with pulling all-nighters to cram for exams and mugs of coffee at four in the morning. Sleeping allows your brain and body to relax and prepare itself for the next day. You will most likely do better on an exam the next day if you have had a full night of sleep instead of staying up all night. Another thing to make sure you are doing is eating. This is fuel for your mind and body. Studying for your exam and taking your exam will go much better when you have had a balanced meal. Lastly, just remember that while finals season is stressful, it is only for a short period of time, and you will get through this!!!

Hello, I’m Sydney! Im a psychology major with a double minor in criminal Justice and human services at ODU. In my free time, I like to play piano, read and watch movies.