by Emily Hussey
Finals can be scary, especially for freshmen who have never experienced this type of chaos before. But don’t fret. Here are some tips on how to get through it.
- During this time of over-caffeinating and high stress levels, it is very hard to keep things in perspective. My biggest advice is to remember that this is temporary, and that it is not the most important thing in the world. I constantly have to remind myself of this during exam season. Sometimes, when all we can see is our GPA flashing in front of our eyes, we forget that there is more to life than papers and tests. If you make a literal 0 on every assignment you have, you will survive. It will be okay. You and I are fortunate to attend an academically-excellent school, which means that hard work is inevitable. Some people do not even get to attend college. There are worse things than studying for tests. This sounds harsh, but it snaps you back to reality.
- You need to sleep. I’m not kidding. All-nighters are not productive at all. If you stay up all night studying, you will not retain anything. If you study as much as you can and go to bed, at least you will remember what you put time and effort into learning. Please get sleep. Don’t fall into the classic college kid trap of staying up all night just because it produces the illusion of productivity.
- Eat as healthy as you can. I’m not saying scarf down kale 24/7, but you need to take care of yourself during this time of high stress and flu season. Don’t neglect fruits and vegetables.
- On that note: if you are feeling particularly stressed, relieve some of it with exercise. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time. It just has to be enough to get your heart rate up.
- Organize and prioritize. Make a list of everything you have to do, all the tests you have to study for, and all the papers you have to write. Work on the things that stress you out the most, even if you don’t finish. Just by starting a task that gives you high anxiety will relieve some of the pressure.
- Schedule your study time and breaks. And be realistic about it. Don’t say you are going to study for for six hours straight without a break. Schedule out realistic chunks of time, like 50 minutes studying with a 20-minute break.
- Turn off your phone. I am so serious. No text or notification is worth breaking your focus. You can check your phone during your break, but nothing derails a productive studying session like a distracted mind.
- Reward yourself. It does not have to be expensive; it can be something as simple as a hot shower. Studies show that reward systems amplify productivity.
All and all: stay organized, stay healthy, and stay calm. Copious amounts of stress just cause harm. You have to keep yourself in check. If you feel yourself getting too overwhelmed, go for a run or do some meditation (YouTube is a great place for that.) Finally, sometimes the most comforting thought is that the world doesn’t revolve around you. Even in a worse case scenario situation regarding your grades, the universe won’t stop. Everything will work out.