As spring semester at the College winds down, there are two things on every collegiette’s™ mind: Blowout and finals. Sadly, the excitement and fun on the last day of classes is quickly overtaken by the stress and anxiety about upcoming final exams, projects, and portfolios. Although W&M was recently ranked the #42 most stressful college by The Daily Beast, there are definitely ways to de-stress and relax during this hectic time of year.
The first thing I would recommend doing before finals start is making a to-do list. It may be cliché, but if you are organized, I guarantee you will be less stressed. If you have a planner or Word doc with your finals schedule, study group times, and term paper due dates written out, you can easily look in one place for everything you need to know. Once your academic priorities are in order, it will be much easier to find time for study breaks and de-stressing.
Now for the fun stuff (yes, you can have fun during finals)! Here are my top three fun on-campus de-stressing activities:
- Have a study group anti-study party. Get together with some friends in one of your classes or with similar free-time schedules and pop in a movie or have a picnic on the Sunken Gardens. And instead of talking about yesterday’s presentation or next week’s final, chat instead about something like fun summer plans.
- Go for a stroll in CW. Taking a walk in Colonial Williamsburg at this time of year is the perfect kick-off to summer- the warmth has already brought out loads of families and school field trips, so why not make a field trip of your own?
- Go to Lake Matoaka. Whether you run on one of the trails along the Lake or have a seat and relax at the Amphitheater, being near the water is super relaxing. Bring a book (beach reads only), your iPod, or a few friends and enjoy!
In addition to my favorite pastimes, there are countless other ways to relax and take your mind off upcoming exams for at least a few hours. Exercising is good for both your physical and mental health, so going for a run around the ‘Burg is another great way to clear your mind. Getting creative is also a great de-stressor. Make “have a great summer” cards for your best friends or if you’re more ambitious, break out your leftover paints from art class and make some dorm room décor for the fall. Whatever your post-Blowout schedule, there is always time to take a deep breath and relax between exams. Work hard, but don’t forget to play hard too.