Just the phrase “finals week” is enough to make just about anyone cringe. Although the thought of taking finals is nauseating, they don’t have to be so stressful. If you stay focused and organized you can minimize your anxiety and breeze through your finals without tearing all of your hair out in the process. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up so far in college for surviving finals week and passing my classes while I’m at it!
Keep a planner (and use it)
The best thing I’ve ever done for myself was find a planning system that works the way I need it to. I started a system called “bullet journaling” which I discovered through Youtube videos, and I love it because it allows me to continually adjust my planner to the way I need to schedule myself. With just a little online research, you can find a planning system that works for you, too. Googling planning systems sounds boring, but you might be surprised what amazing tricks you can pick up for improving your time management and productivity. Browse sites like Pinterest to see what some people are doing (and you can check out my “Studyspiration” Pinterest board too!) Not every system works for everyone, so what’s important is finding one that allows you to clearly lay out and prioritize your tasks in a way that makes sense to you.
It’s never more important to stay focused than during finals, so try your best to eliminate distractions. Odds are, you already know what distracts you and what helps you stay focused. This is different for everyone, so pay attention to the way you learn and work with it. Some people need absolute silence to focus, but others prefer music or chatter in the background. Try heading to the library or a coffee shop; studying at home can often provide too many tempting distractions, and working alongside other productive people can keep you motivated.
Play with your pets
It’s scientifically proven that playing with cute fuzzy animals increases oxytocin which can help lower stress levels. Many schools are starting to offer “dog therapy sessions” where students can sign up to spend a certain amount of time playing with a dog in order to unwind and cheer up during finals week. If your school doesn’t offer this, you can spend time with your own loving animals at home, or even study at a friend’s house with their pets.
Don’t neglect your health!
Don’t forget to take a study break every once in a while to breathe and regain your sanity. If you plan your schedule well enough, you likely won’t have to miss out on too much sleep, which can keep you feeling productive for the work you have to do during the day. It’s important to eat well too; eating unhealthy food during a study session or an all-nighter can make you extra tired and keep you from powering through. Overall, don’t be too hard on yourself. Finals can be really stressful, but they are not worth the cost of your well-being. Happy studying!
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