With Thanksgiving break coming up, it is almost that time of year to start thinking about finals! Finals week is probably one of the most dreaded weeks of every semester. Some students are too hyped up on coffee the whole week that sleep is the last thing on their minds. There are a ton of ways to mentally prepare for this week and stay on top of your work without stressing the heck out! About 1 in 10 college students are stressed out often, and 1 and 4 students are stressed out on a daily basis. According to Bryce Goldsen at CNN, “most stress comes from the pressure to perform well day in and day out.”
Have no fear, I am here to help you mentally prepare for those extra stressful weeks here at JMU. Not only can being stressed out all the time be physically draining, but it can also increase levels of stress and can even lead to anxiety or depression. Some things that you can do to reduce these harsh symptoms is squeeze time in for yourself. This may include getting your nails done, taking a yoga class at UREC, watching an episode of your favorite show or maybe just listening to music. If you take no breaks while trying to prepare for exams it can actually effect your grade in the long run.
My top tips for mentally preparing for an exam:
- Don’t cram: study in intervals of 20-50 minutes. I like to do this and then walk around the library a little bit, maybe hike up and down ECL a couple times to get my blood flowing.
- Eat superfoods: try to fill your diet with the best types of foods that will fill you up and keep you motivated. For breakfast try eating oatmeal with chia seeds for an extra fiber boost that will keep you full and focused the whole day.
- Alternate study spots. Don’t keep going back to the same seat on the 4th floor of ECl because you will learn to dread it more and more each time you start to approach it. JMU has a wide range of study spots to choose from to change the scenery up. Last year I spent most of the week studying in the small library in Memorial Hall. Not many people know about it, so it was extremely quiet and was way less depressing than carrier.
- Avoid all nighters at all costs. This is my biggest tip. I am the type of person that if I am studying past 1 am, it is a huge waste of time. My body can barely function and retain any information that I am trying to memorize. I recommend going to bed earlier and waking up early with a clear fresh mind. Some mornings I even wake up at 5am to study for a 11am test and feel so confident because all of the information is fresh in my mind.
Pro Tip: Review the toughest material right before going to bed the night before the test. It makes it easier to recall the material later.
Finals week is not all that bad though. Here are some benefits of finals that will definitely make you smile:
- Falling asleep on a carrier couch is totally acceptable
- The perfect excuse to eat comfort food
- You have the motivation of going home for a month of relaxation and Christmas!
- It will be the last time you see that professor you cannot stand
- You can wear the comfiest, slouchy clothes you own and no one will judge you
- You do not have to worry about squeezing time in for the gym
- When you are reaching your maximum stressed out levels, the person right next to you at ECL is probably in the same boat
- No classes
- And last but not least, acing that test you stayed up all night for will feel better than you can possibly imagine
Finals week is hard, but don’t let it defeat you!