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4 Tips to Survive the End of Semester

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SFU chapter.

We’re reached the most taxing time of the year. Yes, Finals season is here. If you’re reading this to procrastinate, be my guest. If you’re looking for genuine advice, and motivation to get keep studying, even better, you’re in the right place. There’s nothing worse than feeling like your drowning in all the work you must do by yourself. This week we have a few tips to help you slog through these final weeks. Almost there!


1. Take Care of Yourself

The last thing any student wants to do is slug through studying with a sore throat and constant headaches. Being sick and exam writing do not go hand in hand, and rescheduling exams due to illness is not always a safe bet or even an option. I’m about to get parental, but it’s necessary because gentle reminders never hurt anybody. 

To combat the colds going around, ensure that you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep. Having a tight schedule, or even insomnia makes 8 hours seem nearly impossible, but aim for as close to this as often as you can. All-nighters should never be used, but only when necessary.

Exercise is key. Not only does it provide a break from studying, it will let you release stress and tension related to school or just life in general. Plus, there’s no better feeling than post-workout endorphins to help fight final blues.

Coffee is great. I am known for enjoying one too many cups, but moderation is key. Trust me, I know, the extra energy is often beneficial. Be aware of the addictive nature of the drink and the fact that it can leave you feeling dehydrated.

A good diet ensures a sustainable amount of energy. Junk food and energy drinks are easy to reach for. Opt for well-balanced meals, and try to keep up with a few healthy habits.


2. Stress Less

One thing that stuck with me from my intro level psychology class is a note how individuals interpret stress. Stress, can be interpreted in two ways. We can either appraise it as threat or a challenge. This explains why some people feel motivated when they set a goal to run a 10k, while others feel terrified, and defeated just by the thought.

The same can be applied to test-taking. Yes, exams are generally worth a large part of your grade, so stress is a rational emotion to have. Endless worrying that keeps you from being productive, is another story. When we interpret exams as a threat, then the whole process from studying to physically writing an exam can become associated with fear, apprehension, and emotional exhaustion. If you can help it, be conscious of what mental state you’re in. At least this way you can help combat irrational feelings and worries. A little stress can be healthy as t shows that you care. Just remember, your grade from an exam in spring 2017 probably won’t matter in 10 years time.


3. Motivation

I think this is the biggest issue I face every final season. It’s not much of a mystery as to where all the motivation disappears too. Being run down is one of the most defeating feelings as a student. You know how much work you’ve done, how much work you must still do, and how little time you have to do it all. You contemplate if you’ve procrastinated too much, why you can’t read faster, or how you’re going to digest all the content from January, and regurgitate it coherently. All you want to do is sleep, shed a few tears, eat and maybe binge watch a series on Netflix. The best thing you can do is acknowledge the need for a short break here and there. Power naps, treating yourself to nice meal, or even a good conversation with a friend might help. Sometimes you just need to take a break get outside, go for a walk and find something that gives you purpose other than school.

Your potential summer plans, a new purchase, or just your bed, may just give you enough energy to keep you going through the late night studying. Visualizing is key. It never hurts to make a countdown and a schedule too. With every task and exam that you complete, you can cross it off the list. Now you can see how close you are to the end of semester.


4. Master the “Study Sesh”

Come prepared to your study sesh. And by prepared, I mean bring your snacks, books, headphones, a killer playlist, and maybe a nice drink for added comfort. The worst feeling is reaching the library and realizing that you left your textbook or notecards at home. Even worse is noticing your devices are about to die. With a little extra preplanning, this can hopefully be avoided.

Additionally, figure out when group study is effective, and when to study alone. The amount of unproductive group study sessions I’ve allowed myself to sit through is ridiculous. I know that I’m bound to get more distracted and will probably be less productive if I spend the day with a group. It’s natural for groups to constantly shift topics of discussion. Maybe you’ll end up stuck reviewing parts that you already know. It’s true that they can be effective, especially if you need extra clarification of ideas. If you catch yourself dedicating too much time talking about all the concerts and music festivals you’re attending this summer, then know that conversation can probably wait. It’s also a sign that it’s time to relocate.

Look ladies and gents, we’re almost there! Spring is here, and summer is only a few more downpours away. Good luck to everyone during their final, and end of term projects. You may not know it yet, but we all have the strength to get through it.

Samantha is a fourth-year student at, Simon Fraser University, pursuing a double major in political science and communication. When not keeping up with what's new in pop culture, Samantha can often be found sipping on Starbucks drinks, or enjoying one-too-many YouTube videos. Aside from writing for Her Campus, Samantha's passion for fashion, fitness, and nutrition is what keeps her going through the week. She's self-motivated, friendly, and never turns down a cup of tea and a nice chat!