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

For every college student, no matter what day and age, final exams either make you an academic weapon or an academic victim.

For college students like me, the months between mid March and late April are truly the hardest to get through. The best way I could describe finals was a huge emotional turmoil. From my first year at UT, I remembered my hard-core study sessions well. With the non-stop studying, the only things that got me through those times were power naps and a pure Monster energy drink. 

I remembered one time how I studied all night, my eyes bore into my carefully written notes. My intense focus and dedication for late-night studying felt so unreal; The knowledge was etched into my memory as I persisted. Despite the late hour, my determination remained firm as I delved deeper into my books. 

As the clock struck three in the morning, I knew sleep and rest called my name before the early morning test awaiting for me at nine. With weary eyes, I fell straight asleep, the weight of that knowledge clear in my mind.

However despite the willpower to study was what kept me going, it was the fear of failure that pushed me further. 

I didn’t take any breaks, even though I should have (that rush of energy from the Monster helped.) It was my first semester as a college student so studying late into the night felt like a fever dream. To me, studying at that level was vigorous. If I could study like that again, I would definitely prioritize myself first. 

Final exams make or break you as I learned from the past. However, it doesn’t define you or your grade average. When you receive your first exam and notice the lowest score, it can cause your stomach to drop. Your ego suddenly shattered from this new reality and how your confidence deflated. 

Yet, the thing that got me through the “Midterm Blues,” was time to myself. I found relaxation as I plugged in my airpods, the music blasting from my ears. When necessary, I even took a much needed nap to destress as I sunk into my bed. I also had the opportunity to spend quality time with my friends, who fully recharged my social batteries. 

The most important thing to remember is that above finals exams and grades, you have to put yourself first. Whether you spend your free time with your friends or by yourself is entirely up to you. Studying for a final is a complicated affair that needs lots of focus, but also lots of energy. It’s an important part of the studying process where you feel at your worst, you have to remember that you need to be at your best.

Journalism mayor @ UT Austin IG: @natalia_liliana_torres