Finals always seem to sneak up on us like a bad joke. Course readings become projects or analytical papers and then before long the punch line: there is one week left of class.
Staring at the unyielding list of to-dos as a college undergrad is daunting. It is overwhelming to meet deadlines and finish projects for finals week, so it is obvious why during the weeks leading up to it students are all buzzing around campus saying things like “I can’t wait for winter break” or “these last couple weeks are going to kill me.”
Although I have little to offer in terms of lightening your workload, I can ensure college students that this high-intensity time of year is just as much of a college lesson as any lecture or class.
Time management and organization is key in finishing finals strong. Rising to the challenge of finals is important, as in many cases the final becomes the determining factor regarding your success in a class.
Learning to tackle this stressful time without completely losing your mind is a crucial part of the college experience.
There are a few particular practices that can help reduce the stress during this busy time. First, my favorite basic rule to success in any facet of life is to take care of your body.
In high-pressure situations it is a common response to lash out, binge on junk food, not get enough sleep and spend any extra time “just relaxing.” To see positive results regarding stress reduction it is necessary that students take care of themselves.
Drink enough water; many people are dehydrated and do not realize it. This can be the cause of physical discomforts like headaches and fatigue. Make healthy choices.
We all know that eating vegetables and fruits will sustain energy levels, but when stress bogs us down a common response is to binge eat our favorite junk foods.
Doing so can often lead to breakouts, furthering our self-consciousness and adding to the stress. Lastly, exercise is a certain way to release pent up negative energy in a positive way that will in turn make you feel good.
Be sure to replace time spent binge watching Netflix and eating junk with healthy snacks and physically-engaging alternatives.
Another way to help relieve stress and anxiety is coloring Many students have turned to therapy coloring books to help calm their nerves during a stressful time of year.
Focusing on coloring allows the mind to unwind and forget about the every day pressures. Using these coloring books helps bring a sense of mindfulness to every day activities and has aided individuals with finding inner peace.
Many of us get so wrapped up in our final papers and projects that we forget to take time to breathe. I suggest that in between long hours of studying and working you go on walks.
A change of scene and fresh workspace can often provoke new insights.
Staring at the same project for too long can be detrimental, because after a certain time you stop seeing what work is actually there. Be sure to pause in between hours of work to just clear your mind. When you get back to the project your thoughts will feel fresh and you will be prepared to push your project further.
I think that many people feel that during finals they do not have “me time” and avoid participating in fun activities.
The truth is, getting out some energy by participating in entertaining activities like on-campus events or club activities is a perfect way to keep your mind active while taking a break from the finals you are striving to finish.
Ultimately, finals bring about loads of anxiety for obvious reasons.
Part of the challenge of college is learning to cope with the multiple deadlines in a way that allows you to keep pressing on with your sanity.
Do not be afraid to take time for yourself during finals, just realize that we are all human and you can only do so much.
Approach your to-do list one task at a time, and do not forget to breathe! Good luck on finals Owls!
Arline Votruba can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org