The dreaded finals week is only a few days away, meaning we’re all beginning to panic and stress about the copious amounts of studying that needs to be done. While final exams are important to academic success, they should never come before your mental sanity and wellbeing. Over the years, I have found some tips and tricks that have helped me ensure my finals week goes as smoothly as possible.
Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
While final exams may tempt you to pull an all-nighter or stay up until the early hours of the morning, it’s best if you don’t. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule doesn’t only help you wake up feeling refreshed, but it also helps the body maintain its internal clock. It’s important to fall asleep and wake up at similar times every day, so the body is able to get the necessary amount of rest to function properly. Plus, if you’ve been up for 20 hours, how effective will your studying actually be?
With so much going on, it’s easy to forget about one of our most usual habits: eating. Not only just eating, but ensuring that you are filling your body with nutritious foods that will work to keep you full and fueled. While cookies and mac & cheese are delicious, it’s also important to get some fruits or veggies in there too. Some of my favorite snacks to pack on-the-go are sliced bell peppers, cucumbers with ranch, and Wheat Thins! On campus, I love getting the “Sweet Heat Chicken Sandwich” from the food truck or the buffalo chicken sliders from One Plate Two Plates. Additionally, make sure you drink lots of water!
As the queen of procrastination, I can confidently say procrastinating is the one thing I regret every single time. It never feels like time is running out, until it’s the day before the final exam and nothing has been memorized. That’s why this go-around, I am forcing myself to start early and I suggest you do too! Starting early can help relieve the stress that comes along with exams. Knowing that you’re getting a head start and trying your hardest allows you to feel relief with whatever outcome may arise. At the end of the day, trying your best is all that matters.
As you’re studying, remember to take breaks. Motivation can dwindle if you’ve been studying for hours straight with no breaks. What I like to do is set my timer on my phone for one hour, and then when that hour is up, I take a 15 minute break. Not only does it motivate me to keep working so I get a sense of beating the timer, but seeing the time decrease also helps me keep going. After the one hour is up, I feel an immense amount of accomplishment and my break is deemed as a reward, rather than a distraction.
While it can feel like school is the most important thing in the world, try to place it into perspective. Doing poorly on one exam or missing one class is not going to be the end-all be-all. There are more important things in life than maintaining academic perfection. Being present, staying healthy, nourishing relationships and practicing self-care are all facets of life that should never take a back seat to academics.
I hope these tips and tricks can help you during this upcoming finals season. I wish you all the best of luck!