Finals Don't Have to Equal Anxiety

You're at your favorite studying spot on campus, you've got your headphones on, textbooks open, flashcards out, and you're in the zone. Finals have finally arrived and everyone is feeling a little anxious to get them over with and start the glorious, long, winter break. Whether you're juggling a handful of finals or just one, everyone is bound to feel a bit stressed before the test (rhyme intended).

The key is not to stress. Easier said than done, right? Maybe not. As you go into finals week, try not to think too hard about all the things you need to do:

Oh, I need to re-read those lecturers, oh I need to make flashcards, I need to buy scantrons, I need to I need to …

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If you let all of the things on your to-do list fill up your brain, you're bound to feel overwhelmed. Instead of thinking about all the things you need to do, think about yourself doing them. Manage your time accordingly, and just go through the motions without constantly thinking about what’s next. Think of each test as a barrier you must get over, and you've got to prepare for how to climb over it without falling or hurting yourself.

Say you just can't do that; you're one of those people that worries about every little thing. In this case, you should focus on the little things that will help you through your finals-to-do-list. Play some soothing music in the background while you study, grab a cup of hot chocolate before you start on those flashcards. Recognize what you want, and add little delicacies to make the experience even more satisfying than checking off the boxes on your list.

Many people take this statement for granted, but don't be too hard on yourself. You are a human being, you need sleep, you need comfort, and you need food, so don't feel bad if you take a little break from the reading, or if you decide to go and grab your favorite Starbucks drink. You deserve it.

Fast forward to the day of your finals, maybe you're confident, maybe you're freaking out: whichever one it is, remember to think ahead of your final. In other words, have something to look forward to! It could be winter break, or a trip to the ice cream shop after you finish, or even precious sleep. Even if you are already motivated to get through your finals, having something you want waiting for you at the end of the road is the most natural motivation out there.

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Once that final is over, don't think about it. At this point, it's not the time to stress over something you've already stressed about. It's the time to celebrate and prepare for your next barrier if you have one. Remember that you are at this university for a reason, and be grateful for the opportunity to test your knowledge. Gather your strengths to take another step toward the finish line, and remember, you got this.

Cover image source: Pexels