Those dreaded end of year finals are here, bringing us misery and stress. But when they’re over, SUMMER IS ON! As finals week approaches, papers, projects, and exams. Though it may seem impossible to get through this time with a clear head, there are many things that can help you relieve stress. It’s time to put the Netflix binging on hold and get down to business!

The first step to getting through the end of the semester alive is by staying organized.

Create a study schedule. 

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” We have all heard and agreed with that old adage, but how many times do we still forget to plan? If you just start studying without a plan, you are likely to overlook important areas and over-study unimportant subjects. Plan your week, plan your day, and plan what to study.

Stop.

After about two hours of hard studying, your brain starts to crap out on you. It’s best to take 5-10 minute breaks every hour or so. Stretch. Refresh. Breathe. Your mind won’t burn out quite as quickly this way.

Move.

Vigorous exercise breaks can help relieve the stress that makes finals week so…stressful! We all know this, yet we rarely put this knowledge to good use. I know you think you don’t have time, but I promise if you take 20 minutes to run or bike your brain will function at a higher level and you’ll be far more efficient as you work. Bicycling to and from school is one exercise that can help. This interruption serves as a reset and helps you regain your concentration.

Eat well.

Amazingly, many people eat even more unhealthily during finals week than they do during other seasons. With the shortage of time, they often eat whatever is quick and tasty. This is a big mistake. Junk food may give you instant energy, but it will damage your concentration and memory. Eating healthy food will increase your concentration and retention. You have to nourish those brain cells, especially if you’re sleeping less than usual. Buy some fruits and veggies, take some time to cook wholesome meals, and drink plenty of water.  Simply eating a healthy diet is an easy way to help manage stress and get good grades during your finals.

Sleep.

All the caffeine in the world can’t replace a good night’s sleep, so do your best to get some shuteye. I know this isn’t always plausible and all-nighters are sometimes inevitable. If you must stay up all night, find some time to nap. Sleep will help you study better, even though you will have less study time, the time you do have will be worth more.

Most of all, stay positive and try your best! This kind of work is unnatural and seems cruel, but just remember that you can do it and that you’re almost done. Within a week, you’ll be at home with your pets and some great food; keep that in mind and you’ve got yourself some motivation. You’ve made it so far already and accomplished so much this semester, and it will only continue to get better from here. That said…may the odds be ever in your favor!

xoxo,

Gracie

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