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How to Survive This Finals Season

Finals are upon us and most of us are preparing ourselves for the mental breakdowns, hair loss, and breakouts that come with the week. But, what if it doesn’t have to be this way? What if we could have a finals week in which we study enough to feel prepared but not too much to feel like a corpse in our own skin? This finals season, I will be attempting to achieve this balance, and I urge you to as well for the sake of your mental and physical health.

We have been accustomed to expect success from ourselves in the form of “good” grades. But, success is very subjective, as is what “good” grades are. If we can remove ourselves from the expectation that we must get the best scores on our exams to feel good about ourselves, we may be able to lessen the blow if we don’t do as well as we had hoped. I plan on focusing more on how much I have learned from a class rather than how much of it I can memorize to do well on the exam.

In order to achieve this knowledge of the subjects I’m studying, I will study in increments of two hours a day per subject rather than cramming it all into one night. It is easy to get caught up in the all-nighter culture – as in the culture that makes it feel like if you get the least amount of sleep, you are the hardest worker. But, NEWS FLASH, you aren’t instantly smarter or better because you study all night long. In fact, you will probably perform worse on your exams than somebody who got a proper night’s sleep. To avoid cramming last minute, try to plan out your studying schedule and stick to it.

To go along with proper sleep, we should all be doing a little extra for ourselves during this hectic week. Take notice of changes in your mood or energy – we shouldn’t be sacrificing our mental wellness to do well on an exam, no matter the class. If you need to take a break, take it. If you need to get Yoloberry every day, do it (but also remember to fuel your body with healthy foods that will keep your body strong). In the end, it is your health that matters the most, so do what you can to feel your best, whether that’s exercising or reading or painting or whatever you love to do.

Remember that it is just a test. Even if we take a couple of Ls during finals week, we have spring break to look forward to, and I promise that you will be happy that you took care of your body this week so it can bounce back stronger than ever for spring quarter; I know I will be!

Cover image source: Programming Librarian

Hadley is a fourth year at UC Davis, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Professional Writing and Human Rights. She is a mental health advocate and the Vice President of Event Planning for the Pi Beta Phi sorority. She loves to play soccer, paint, and watch The Office. She is planning on pursuing a career in writing and editing, and hopes to work for a magazine after graduating.
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