Column: Finals Week Survival Guide

Column: Finals Week Survival Guide

With only a week of classes left, finals week is ominously close and most of us are scrabbling to get big projects finished and prepare for the onslaught of anxiety-inducing tests next week.

How does one cope with the stress? How can you possibly make it through finals week with your sanity intact? Here are a few tips on how to survive finals week.

Of course, you’re going to have to study if you want to pass but don’t overdo it. Study in smaller increments. Instead of studying for hours on end, study for 30 minutes to an hour and then take a break. Studies show that it is more effective to study in smaller increments and taking breaks in between study sessions will help you switch gears and keep your mind sharp. It will also help you keep your sanity.

While you’re studying, listen to music. Music is a great stress reliever and works great while studying. Listen to something calm and relaxing. Movie soundtracks work great for studying music because they are designed to be in the background to add to the effect without taking your attention off the film itself. Plus, studies show that non-lyrical music will improve your brain’s ability to function.

When you aren’t studying, spend time with friends. This isn’t an invitation to go out and party, after all, you are about to take final exams. Spending time with friends will help alleviate some of the stress of finals week. You can also help each other out by studying together, especially if you have classes together.

Stay at home or at the dorm. During the semester, there are a lot of events on campus to keep you preoccupied, and that’s a good thing. These events break our mundane, tedious daily schedules and give us something fun to do but finals week isn’t the time to go out and party. If you want to spend time with friends, invite them over to your place or arrange to meet them somewhere, like a coffee shop, where you can study or sit and relax.

Another good way to take your mind away from the stress of finals week is to distract yourself with your favorite book series. Read a chapter or two a day, just enough to give you a nice break from studying and stressing over exams. It’s also a good way to keep your mind fresh in between study sessions.

You can also do this with your favorite TV show or movie series. This doesn’t mean you should binge watch all nine seasons of “How I Met Your Mother” on Netflix in three days. Rather, you can space out a marathon. After a long day of studying, when you’re too tired to study any more, watch a movie or a few episodes of your favorite show. It will give you a chance to unwind and take your mind off of exams for a little while.

It is also important that you get enough sleep at night. Experts suggest you get at least seven hours of sleep per night. It may seem crazy (and impossible) but getting a healthy night’s sleep will give you the energy you need to function properly and give your brain a chance to rest and recover from the day’s studying. Naps are also recommended whenever possible. Remember: sleep is good.

These are just a few tips to help you get through and cope with the stress of finals week. So, good luck! Happy finals week and may the curve be ever in your favor.

Featured graphic credit: Nathaniel West

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