Stressed student

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As finals week rapidly approaches, many students are already experiencing the mounting anxiety that comes with the end of the semester.

As students prepare to ace their exams, it is also important to care for their mental health. Various ways to do this are:

  • Make a study schedule. One of the most helpful things I have ever done during my college career is learn the art of planning. You hear it all the time, but have you ever really tried it? You don’t need anything fancy to make a study plan or schedule. I like to make a list of remaining assignments and exams the week before finals and then carve out time to work on either completing a project or studying for an exam. The point is to give yourself plenty of time and have an obtainable list of goals to complete and a time frame in which to complete them. This personally decreases my stress levels because I know exactly what I need to do and when I need to do it. This prevents procrastination and cramming.
  • Start with the smallest task first. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed at the sheer number of tasks that you have before you. Exams, papers, and group projects seem to pile up the last few weeks of the semester. If you are feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated, try completing the smallest and easiest task first. This will help you feel accomplished and get the ball rolling for your other tasks, and you can breathe easy knowing you have checked at least one item off of your to-do list!
  • Take breaks. By the end of the semester many students are feeling worn down and burnt out. This doesn’t help when you have 5 exams coming up that you should be preparing for. As mentioned before, when the work load gets tough it is sometimes easy to feel like giving up. One thing many students forget is to do is treat themselves to a well-deserved break during the chaos of finals week. According to research by the Draugiem Group, people are more productive when they work for 52 minutes followed by a 17-minute break. You may think you are getting more accomplished by putting your nose to the grindstone for hours on end, but in reality you will feel more refreshed and focused if you give yourself regular breaks to de-stress.

As the dreaded last week of the semester draws closer, there is no need to feel overwhelmed. In a culture that prioritizes grades and GPA ahead of mental health, it is important for college students to be attentive to their emotional well-being. By creating a study plan and avoiding procrastination, taking small victories, and most importantly taking a time out, students can ease the anxiety brought on by final exams.