Tis the Season for Finals

Edited By: Tanmaya Ramprasad

As a university student, I know that the beginning of December is really code for finals season. This is the time that while we are all anticipating the arrival of winter break and the holiday season; we also look at our calendars and see that for at least two weeks we have a ton of work due. This work includes some long papers and tests that will keep us occupied for hours of our time and will also likely bring down most people’s mental health as this time of the year has always been known to be stressful. I know for myself that I am more productive when my mental health is in a good place and when I am feeling less stressed and anxious which is why I would like to share my top 3 tips for keeping your mental health in check during finals season. 

1. Remembering to take breaks 

Just because you have a lot of work due during finals season does not mean you do not deserve to take a break once in a while. When overworked, most people, including myself, feel exhausted and burnt out, which will usually lead to having a lack of motivation to complete any tasks. To avoid burnout, taking a break is very important. This break can include anything that makes you feel happy whether that be going to get a coffee, watching an episode of your favourite tv show, or even going to spend time with a close friend (socially distanced of course!). Once you return from your break, you will notice that you will feel less stressed and tired, which in turn will give you more motivation to continue your work and make it through finals.

2. Creating your ideal work from home environment 

What makes this finals season different from any other is that instead of scrambling to finish papers in the library and writing exams in massive halls, we are all doing these same evaluations from home. While this is something that is new to us all, we can use it to our advantage this year by creating an ideal work from home environment. Instead of writing an exam sitting on an uncomfortable chair surrounded by at least 100 other peers, you can now take this same exam sitting at your own desk in the peace of quiet with your favourite holiday candle and a coffee by your side if that makes you feel calmer. Having a work from home environment that makes you feel calm and relaxed while writing papers and exams will ensure that your mental health will remain strong this season.

3. Getting Fresh Air 

Since we have all been stuck at home for longs periods of time this year, it is even more difficult to feel motivated to actually go outside but getting a breath of fresh air has actually been proven to alleviate stress. I know that I am far from perfect in this department as there have been many days where I have not left my home, but I have noticed that on the days where I did go out for just a simple walk in the neighbourhood, I immediately felt better afterwards. This year since we are all outside less, schedule some time in your day between exams and assignments to go outside for a bit of time as you will definitely feel more relaxed when you come back inside. Just going for a walk on your own will make a world of difference.

These tips have helped me feel better when school work has gotten busy, so hopefully, they will help you make finals season much more bearable. No one should have to sacrifice their mental health for good grades. There is only so much a person can handle when it comes to stress which is why it is crucial to take care of yourself first.  Also as a motivating factor, remember that after finals come holiday cheer, and lots of time to spend with the family with no school included.