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5 Ways to Help You Deal with Final Exam Stress

While some of us might have missed being on campus for the last two years, I know most of us haven’t missed in-person exams. The last few weeks of the semester usually pass like a fever dream, with people rushing around to get their exams done and others finally ready to leave town for their breaks. Unfortunately, before you get there, you may have to endure the torment that is final exams. Even for those who have done in-person exams before, no one looks forward to finals.

Taking breaks and managing your time is rather important when dealing with final exam stress. We’re all ready to be done, but your mental health should not be taking a major hit as you prepare yourself for the end. Your health and well-being should always be the top priority, and if you need to talk to someone, feel free to reach out to counselling services. Here are some of my tips to help you relieve the stress before your finals.

1. Take a walk

I’m sure by this time we’re all ready for spring to come. Recently, Waterloo has featured some good weather during the week, giving us a taste of summer. Leaving your room and taking in a breath of fresh air might be something that you need. In fact, taking a break for your mind and enjoying nature might even be more beneficial for your learning than staying in and staring at your textbooks. Stroll through Waterloo Park or even walk through Uptown to find a study spot the next time you can’t find one on campus.

If a walk isn’t what you need, there are gyms that are open on campus. Facilities like CIF or PAC are open for students throughout the semester. Working out will introduce a balance between cramming for your exams and getting ready for the summer.

2. Get some Ice Cream or Froyo

With summer coming up, there are lots of warmer days to get you in the summertime mood. Planning an outing to grab some ice cream or even frozen yogurt is the move to make around this time of year! Stores like Marble Slab, Four All, and Menchies are great, and keeping an eye out for promotions can help you save money while still having fun. Catch up on those deals before potentially moving away for the summer!

3. Plan a Night with Friends

Most of us won’t be on campus for the spring semester — and with the end of the semester coming up, you’ll be apart from your friends for a little bit. Make time for each other, and don’t get too involved with your exams that you forget about your friends. Plan a relaxing game night or invite them out for dinner. Being with good company often takes our minds off of life’s burdens.

4. Go for a *small* shopping spree

Waterloo may not have the best malls in Canada, but there is Conestoga Mall, which features lots of different stores. Your summer might lead you to different adventures, and you should be prepared for them. Take some time off and walk around the stores to see what you can buy in time for summer. A shopping spree during this time of change will do no harm, but if you do want to save some money, I still highly recommend window shopping!  

5. Plan a Trip

One of the best ways to see the light at the end of a dark tunnel is to plan something to look forward to. There are so many cheap flights and hotel deals that you can take advantage of — not to mention an endless list of destinations! Even if you don’t want to take a long trip, planning road trips or smaller outings can help you look forward to the summer. Maybe a small staycation down at St. Jacobs is the move for you — you don’t even have to go far from Waterloo!

Nisha Nararidh

Waterloo '23

Hi! I'm Nisha, an International Student who is currently studying at the University of Waterloo. I am double majoring in English Literature and Language alongside a Major in History, in addition to that I am also taking a minor in Human Resource Management. I love to share my stories and how I adapted to the Waterloo lifestyle.
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