10 Ways to Handle Finals Stress

Hey there fellow DePaulians. Long time no talk! Schoolwork has completely taken over my life, as it usually does for students about to embark towards the dreaded monster known as “Finals Week.” It’s such an oxymoron, isn’t it? We have this week of finals, but then right after, we’re free for 7 weeks. Hello Winter Break! Here’s the thing though: with finals week just around the corner, it’s important to not let stress take over. I know what you’re thinking — “Just saying I shouldn’t be stressed doesn’t help.” I know that! That’s why I’ve compiled a list of ways to help keep the stress at bay. Here’s 10 ways to handle finals stress:

  1. First and Foremost, Don’t Procrastinate
    • Yes, it may sound like a good idea at the time to crack open the good ol’ Netflix account and watch that next episode of Scandal, but let’s be honest here: that 7 page lab report that’s due in three days isn’t going to write itself. If you’re not down to do the entire thing, I don’t blame you, but at least get some of it done!
  2. Make a Study Playlist
    • Make a study playlist that’s actually going to help you get stuff done. Yeah, you can jam out, but work while you’re jamming! That’s my favorite way to write papers.
  3. Set Rewards for Yourself
    • “Ok self, if you make these flashcards and go through them once, I’ll reward you with this pack of M&M’s.” Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? It is.
  4. Change up Your Atmosphere
    • This one’s important — sometimes studying in a super quiet library or in your dorm room isn’t the best route to go. For some people it is, but for me personally, it isn’t. I don’t know about you, but being in super quiet places when I’m trying to study actually stresses me out more. Head over to a coffee shop, enjoy those coffee aromas, outline that paper, and get a latte while you’re at it!
  5. Try to be Positive
    • Sure, finals are next week and you’re totally and completely stressed beyond belief, but think about going home and enjoying the holidays right after that for 7 whole weeks.
  6. Take Things One Step at a Time
    • Don’t try to do everything all at once; you’ll only end up being more stressed. Make a list of everything you have to get done and prioritize – get the hard stuff out of the way first and get the easier stuff done later!
  7. Stay Focused
    • Yeah, making a study playlist is going to help, but don’t get caught up doing that. What I mean by this is don’t dedicate three hours of your life to make this the perfect study playlist; stay focused on what you came here to do (and that’s to get work done!)
  8. Take Breaks
    • This one’s tricky. Definitely take breaks (you don’t want to over-stress) but don’t do them for too long. Before you know it, you’ll be on the weird side of Youtube and it’ll be midnight and you’ll realize you haven’t even finished your introduction to that history paper yet. I recommend 10-15 minute breaks – not too long but still enough time to relax!
  9. Drink Some Tea
    • This helps for some people, especially if you’re a tea drinker. I’ve heard Lavender, California Poppy, and Chamomile are especially effective for reducing stress.
  10. Know That You Can Do This!
    • Yes, looking at finals week like it’s this huge, scary task is most everyone’s go-to route, but that only leads to more anxiety. When you view it as something that can be broken down and done relatively easily, you can definitely get through it. You can do this. I believe in you.

Good luck out there, guys! You’ve totally got this.

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