The last few weeks of the semester are incredibly stressful, as we all know. Here are a few tips to keep your sanity while studying for your final exams:
1. Make a To-Do List
The best thing to do you when you feel overwhelmed is to prioritize your tasks. Make a to-do list of all the upcoming tasks you want to accomplish and organize them from most important to least. This way, you can focus on the most important assignments first, and then deal with the tangential stuff once you’ve already gotten the big stuff out of the way. If you set one or two big goals for each day, your hectic schedule will feel much more manageable.
2. Clean/Organize Your Room
I know my room becomes a hot mess when I get stress out during the semester. My stress levels—and my messy habits—go into overdrive the last few weeks of the semester. A great way to alleviate some finals-driven anxiety is to organize your room. It gives you a sense of purpose as well as providing some necessary productive procrastination.
3. Change Your Scenery
We all know the library is packed during finals; you find a table with a few friends and camp out until midnight, only leaving for the occasional trip to D-Hall. This can be productive at first, but can sometimes actually make it hard to concentrate. Granted we’ll have some nice weather during finals week, take a nice walk into town and settle in Congress Park or at Uncommon to study for the day. Escaping campus, where everyone is in finals mode, will help you relax while also focus on studying without distractions.
4. Take Time for Yourself
Knowing when you need a break is key to productive studying and managing stress effectively. If you’ve been staring at the same page of notes for fifteen minutes and haven’t made any progress with your note cards, then that means your brain needs a little break from studying. Five minutes is all you need to take a deep breathe or go grab a cup of coffee. Little breaks throughout the day and night help keep your stress levels in check!
5. Essential Oils!
I was first introduced to essential oils during a yoga class I took about two years ago. The teacher rubbed lavender oil on our temples during the Shavasana relaxation period, and I was simply amazed by how great I felt. Lavender has naturally calming powers and smells wonderful. A great trick is to spray lavender room spray or lavender oil straight from the bottle on your pillow before you go to bed at night and when you wake up in the morning to keep your nerves at rest. Every essential oil has a distinct smell and specialty. Check out Tushita Heaven right on Broadway or Healthy Living Supermarket to explore the different options.
You’ve heard it a million times: exercise helps stress. I’m not the most active person myself, so I have dismissed this in the past, but exercise really makes a positive difference in your outlook and mood. Stress makes you irritable and makes the body feel fatigued—exercise alleviates these uncomfortable feelings by releasing natural endorphins. Yoga is particularly great because it exercises the mind as well as the body. Even taking a walk in North Woods is a great way to get your energy up and make you more concentrated when studying.
7. Eat with Friends
Eating with friends is one of the best study breaks to take. Studies show that eating with others promotes good health and wellbeing. Social interactions are key to keeping stress levels at bay, so take the half hour out of your day to get lunch or dinner with a couple of friends and talk about something other than studying!
8. Get Enough Sleep
College students are notorious for sacrificing sleep in order to study into the early hours of the morning. Even though this seems like the only way to get all your studying done, it actually hurts you. Stress puts the body through a lot already, and not sleeping in addition will make you feel extra irritable, tired, and unable to concentrate. If you sleep well through the night for a decent amount of time, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to devote your day to stress-free studying.
Her Campus Skidmore wishes you luck on all your finals! Keep Calm and Carry On.