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

Finals season is coming up in a few weeks and all students can do is stress. Stressing about studying, stressing about doing well, and stressing about stressing. We often forget to take time for ourselves during this time and destress after the long nights and hard studying. I have compiled 10 ways to relieve your stress and do well this finals season. 

1. Eat Healthy Meals and Snacks Often, students eat even more unhealthily during finals week than they do the rest of the semester. With a time crunch, they go for quick, tasty, on-the-go foods and mindlessly much away until they are left with an empty package. This is a big mistake. Junk food gives you instant energy or a sugar high, but it affects your concentration and memory and will end in a food coma or sugar crash.

2. Stay Hydrated Your brain works best when it’s hydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue and headaches, which will distract you from your work. Caffeine dehydrates you more, so for every coffee you have, have a glass or bottle of water; your body and mind will thank you.

3. Breathe In moments when you feel your stress level is climbing, take a deep breath for four counts, hold it for four counts, and exhale for four counts. Try this a few times. You may be shocked at how much better you feel.

4. Get Sleep Everyone has different sleep habits, but it is never healthy to pull an all-nighter. If you do, make sure you have time to take a nap, so you get the sleep your body needs. Sleep will improve the quality and retention of studying, even though you may have less study time. Less is more.

5. Take Breaks Studying non-stop is not helpful. After a long period of studying, your concentration will be broken, and the material that you are trying to learn will not be retained well. Studies show in order to really grasp information the brain needs time to absorb what it has learned. You should use short breaks to exercise, eat a healthy meal, rest, socialize, catch your favorite TV show, enjoy the great outdoors, or do some other activity that takes your mind off the study material. You will absorb information best if you can study before going to sleep. But, the most important thing is that you do something for yourself and reward yourself for getting some work done, no matter when you find time to do it.

6. Choose a good study space Don’t just start studying anywhere. Find a quiet, orderly place. Unfortunately, your dorm room or apartment is probably a bad place to study. With all the familiar objects around and your roommates hanging out, it would be too easy to get distracted. Instead, try to visit the campus library, open all night during finals week, or spend a couple of hours in the café. A peaceful environment will be an immeasurable help to your concentration.

7. Plan, Plan, Plan! “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” If you start studying without a plan, you are likely to focus on the wrong material or get distracted. Plan how to allocate your time and what to study. Check your syllabus or ask professors for a study guide if you have an actual exam, and in the case of final papers, presentations, and projects, plan your time wisely.

8. Ask for Help Many students are afraid to ask for help. If you do not understand what to do or study, ask someone. You could speak to your professor during office hours or talk to your friends and classmates.

9. Talk to a counselor Look into your school’s counseling and health services. The Spelman College Counseling Center provides confidential counseling services to all students free of charge; you don’t need an appointment and you don’t have to go regularly. If you find yourself needing help with managing your stress, consider talking with a counselor. 

10. Call your friends Talking with a trusted friend or family member about how you are feeling helps because most of them have “been there, done that” or are also preparing for finals. Talking things out can have the immediate effect of reducing stress levels. Sharing with someone else helps you feel like you aren’t alone, which can be so helpful.


Akira Allen

Spelman '22

Hey! My name is Akira Allen and I am a sophomore biology major on the pre-med track at the illustrious Spelman College. I am originally from Washington D.C. but currently reside in Warner Robins, Georgia. From the time I was about 4 I knew I wanted to help people, and I loved science. I mean the first big word I spelled was photosynthesis. So, being a doctor just felt right. I believe being a surgeon will allow me to combine my two passions. In the last 4 years or so I have become very passionate about advocacy and activism. Coming to a place like Spelman has helped me to expand this passion further. I am so excited to be apart of the HerCampus Spelman team as a content writer! I believe we are going to achieve great and meaningful things.
Kimani Leftridge is currently an Anthropology and Sociology major at Spelman College. Kimani loves writing and talking about politics, they have aspirations of becoming a college professor and continuing to work in the field of journalism. If they are not writing, they can be found organizing, involved in political discourse, reading or painting. In addition to being a writer, Kimani is also a visual artist who's pieces often have the same subject matter as their writings. You can follow them on Instagram @angstyblkartist.