The end is near: tips for surviving finals week


Finishing classes. Preparing for finals week. Starting to pack up to go home. Scrabbling to finish assignments. Second guessing everything. Double checking everything. Remembering to take care of personal hygiene. Trying to sleep. Trying harder to wake up. Drinking water. Breathing. Keep breathing.

The semester is reaching its peak, flinging many into panic mode and stress induced comas. Students are fighting through the last few weeks like their lives depend on it. While the pressure of succeeding and the impeding doom of failing is approaching, we all need to take a second and remember some helpful tips to get through this hectic time.

First and foremost, prioritize plans and schedules. People like to keep organized and structured in their own individual ways that help them best, but no matter what your personalized way is, it is important to know what you need to be doing and when. This relieves stress and helps you avoid unpleasant situations, such as showing up to a final late or not being prepared for it. Write yourself some notes or write everything in a calendar or planner and put reminders in your phone, whatever you find works best.

Secondly, remember to take care of yourself. With everything going on, it’s easy to forget about important things pertaining to your physical health. You will feel better and less like your life is collapsing in on you if you remember to eat healthily and exercise. Roughly 30 minutes of exercise a day can help relive tons of stress. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so try to get a good breakfast before your finals.

Much like your physical health, you can’t ignore your mental health. If you notice you’re overly anxious and are having a hard time calming yourself down, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Stop by the JSC wellness center and ask to talk to a counselor or spend some time in their therapy room. If you find a time that works for you and you love animals, you can also stop by the wellness center to visit and play with their therapy pets. Talk to a friend, either in person at JSC or call someone from home. Email your professors if you have any concerns about their assignments. Stop by TRiO in Dewey to see if anyone there can help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all need it sometimes.

Don’t beat yourself up. It’s easy to feel like you’re falling into a deep, dark hole and there’s nothing you can do, and there’s no one to blame but yourself. However, this is not the end of the world and you will make it. You have to believe that you will. Concentrate on doing your best, and the chances are you will be fine.

Remember you can still have some fun. Even with a crazy work load and crowded schedule, you can still sneak in some time to laugh and play. You can still find time to relax as well. Find a calming space and do a quick five-minute meditation to calm your mind and body. Meditations are also offered at the JSC wellness center.

Don’t procrastinate. Take small mental breaks and then get back to work. Even if it feels like you haven’t made a lot of progress, every little bit of work you do helps. Take time to pause and drink some water. Staying hydrated helps to reduce stress and helps your brain continue with your work.

Make yourself a reward system. For example, if you complete an assignment, you earn a candy bar, or if you finish a project, you earn a 30-minute nap. After accomplishing a task, do something you enjoy. Watch a movie, listen to a song you love, take a walk or just sit outside and get some fresh air.

Lastly, but most importantly, make sure to get plenty of sleep. It’s very hard to get the right amount of sleep when you’re cramming everything together at the last minute, but you will be thanking yourself later if you do manage to get around a healthy eight hours.

Remember that everyone is having a hard time getting through these last few days. We can all use a reminder to take care of ourselves and each other. If you notice a friend or peer or anyone who seems to be struggling or having a particularly bad day, reach out to them and let them know everything is going to be okay.