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How to Manage Stress During Finals Week

All college students know the feeling of finals week. You can almost feel the tension throughout campus, as students stress to learn and review as much as possible before the exam. As people rush to finish projects, write essays, and cram for their upcoming exams, you’ll likely find people who are burnt out and ready to go home. There are plenty of ways to get through finals week, though. As a second-year student, I have figured out what works best for me during finals week that helps keep me from feeling overwhelmed by my last few assignments of the semester.  

Make a Schedule:

Schedules are a great way to stay organized and figure out what I need to work on first. I start with listing out the schedule of when my finals are and then plan out what days I have free time to start preparing for them. Planning out my week ahead of time keeps me from forgetting something I need to get done or becoming overwhelmed with the long list of what I need to do. Also, I’m able to schedule out my day where I use the time, I’m most productive during the day to work on my finals. 

Start Early:

I personally try to get started with essays and projects as early as possible. I start with these because I don’t have to be able to recall the information on them right away. I start with just making simple outlines of what I want to include, and then go through and add information when I have time to work on it. By getting these out of the way early, all I have to do is review, edit, and practice during finals week. Then I can commit more time to my actual exams and learning information I need to. 

Move Around:

Staying in one place to study can often leave you feeling stressed and having trouble retaining information. I suggest moving around and finding multiple places to study. This gives you a way to not feel trapped in one space and allows you to relieve a bit of stress. Also, this gives you the opportunity to study in different ways. For example, when in my room I voice what I’m trying to learn to help make the information make sense to me. However, if I go to a study room, I’ll often use the boards to write out my answers and explain them. This helps me explain my thoughts, as well as be able to write them out correctly. 

Make Time for Yourself:

Finding time for yourself is extremely important during finals week. If you overwhelm yourself with schoolwork and don’t allow yourself to have a bit of free time to relax, you will likely burn out before the week is over. While this time is very stressful, it’s crucial to make time for yourself to relax each night. By implementing personal time in your schedule, it keeps you from overworking and stressing yourself out beyond what you can handle. Whether it’s watching a movie or reading a book, it’s very important to make time for yourself. 

It’s important to figure out a study plan that works best for you. Since everyone learns differently, it may be hard to figure out the way you learn best. However, figuring out a system is the most beneficial way to utilize your time and avoid overstressing. Finals are stressful for everybody, but having a plan in place that works best for you and helps you succeed without overworking yourself is one of the most important parts of preparing for finals. 

I am an English student at TCU, and I am minoring in Writing and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Studies. I've always had a love for reading and writing since I was a kid. I hope to encourage positivity and love through my writing and make the world feel a bit kinder.
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