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

As finals week approaches at UWaterloo, it can be challenging to manage your time wisely. So, I’ll be providing tips on how you can stay stress-free (or less stressed) during the upcoming finals week!

  1. Create a daily to-do list 

One thing that helps me stay on track is keeping a to-do list with everything that I need to get done. Personally, I like doing this by creating a sticky note which I attach to my door or wall, or sometimes by creating a list on my Reminders app, which I would put on my lock screen as a widget. 

The purpose of this is to put the list somewhere visible, so you can constantly be reminded of the tasks that need to be completed when you go on your phone or enter your room. This also allows you to schedule specific days to complete certain chapters from a class, so you’re caught up on all the required readings before your exam, and still have a few days left to review. It’s the perfect way to space out your studying without having to cram it all at once, thus relieving tons of stress in the long run.

2. Make study groups

When you don’t understand the content in class, it always helps to ask others for help. Assisting one another during these times is necessary for various reasons: you don’t feel alone, and you also make friends! 

I always suggest creating a study group for each class so that you can get together for study sessions and help one another during exam preparations. If you’re an introvert like myself, you can also create a group chat online by adding students from your class to the chat; chances are there are others on the same boat as you, too. From here, you can get in touch with them and create a schedule according to when everyone is available to study in person, or even virtually. This will not only motivate you but can help build initiative. 

3. Limit distractions

Ever plan to study at two o’clock, then time goes by and the clock hits 2:01, and you think to yourself, might as well wait till the clock hits an even number? Well, you’re not alone. It’s very easy for humans to find any excuse to avoid work. So, one thing you can do to be productive is to get rid of such distractions. 

For once, avoid looking at the time when you’re studying. Instead, as soon as you think of studying, get up and study! Another major distraction that many of us can relate to is our cell phones — so, I suggest leaving yours as far away as possible when you’re working, and put it on Do Not Disturb mode. There are also many different apps that help with productivity, such as Focus, Forest and RescueTime, to name a few. You can also use the Screen Time feature that most devices have, to limit your time spent on certain apps that are distracting.

4. Take time for yourself 

Alongside focusing on your studies, it’s equally important to prioritize yourself. This means don’t forget to eat, sleep and get out of your room, too! I know lots of us end up feeling guilty doing something we enjoy during the finals season; however, it’s vital to understand that it’s okay to take a break. 

Of course, it’s nice to have good grades, but sacrificing your mental health during the process is not okay. So, don’t forget to play your favourite video game, go to the gym, or even watch an episode of your favourite TV show. Do whatever gives you joy and eases your mind. But balance is key, so be sure to properly limit your break time from studying so you don’t return to the same bad habits.

Nandini Sharma

Waterloo '25

Hello, my name is Nandini and I am a current GBDA student at UW. I am here to create and share content such as articles and blogs of interesting trending topics for you to enjoy!