Ah, finals’ season – the onset of a weird combination of existential dread and sporadic emotional outbursts; arguably the most stressful period of a university student’s life. But such a burden does not come without benefits: the glue that you use to hold the broken pieces of yourself together while enduring the distress that is the skipped meals, endless hours spent pouring over books and notes, and lost sleep can actually be incredibly useful throughout the rest of your life. To be blunt, life is full of stress and suffering so there are lots of techniques to a successful finals’ season that can also be useful to ensure a happy, healthy and successful life.
Without further ado, here are five tips to enduring the seemingly unending pain and suffering that comes along with finals’ season:
Stop and Smell the Roses (or the gingerbread): Finals’ season also happens to overlap with the season of holiday cheer; don’t isolate yourself from the holiday cheer in a bubble of perpetual self loathing. Life continues on around us even in the most stressful times, and it is important not to miss out because our heads were stuck in books. One can only study or work for so many hours in a day and it is important to take much deserved breaks to do the things we love or just enjoy our surroundings (and stop to smell the gingerbread). Enjoy the little things in life like chats with friends, your favourite tv show, or a treat from your favorite coffee shop! Bonus: breaks help improve focus and decrease stress!
Don’t hate everyone: During finals’ season it might seem like the world is set against you, in fact, I find this sentiment occurs with a disturbing frequency in my own life. You might desire to lash out at whatever or whomever attempts to disturb the beast, especially when it is in its cocoon of headphones, notes, highlighters and textbooks. There are (usually) people that you care about you and want to help. My advice: don’t snap at them. Let them buy you coffee, hear out your problems, give you advice, and cook you food. If you shun those you care about whenever you’re stressed out it is very difficult to have a happy life. Make sure to spend time with those you care about; your stress levels with thank you.
Cut out the toxic people: Life, especially finals’ season, is already stressful enough; you really don’t need the endless drama and negatively of certain people. Sometimes we have those people in our life that just plain suck. They are negative, demanding, inconsiderate and condescending. They bring you more misery than joy; they only serve to bring you down. You deserve better and you certainly don’t need that stress when you already feel like you’re drowning during finals’ season. Cut them out and keep them out, even once finals are over.
Stay Healthy: Writing finals or partaking in any major event with a modern day version of the bubonic plague (aka the notorious and infamous finals plague), is not a fun time. In fact, it is really quite horrible. There are a couple of things one can do in order to stay healthy and happy (well, relative to the circumstance that is) this finals’ season. Firstly, I would highly recommend organizing your time efficiently so you can minimize the amount of time you have to cut down on important things like eating, exercise, and sleep. You can do this by creating a study schedule, splitting the burden of creating a comprehensive study guide with friends, or maintaining organized notes throughout the semester. Being prepared and organized is an essential skill not only for finals, but for your entire life. Additionally, during especially busy times, skip the time preparing gourmet meals with quick and healthy snacks like granola bars, yogurt, assorted nuts, eggs (yes, I’m that weirdo cracking eggs in the silent library) or whatever you fancy. One final word of advice: don’t forget your exercise. Exercise is a major stress reliever and a great way to temporarily divert your mind and body from finals.
Keep the end in mind. Finals’ season, like most forms of stress and anxiety isn’t permanent. It might seem like an eternity of suffering, but in reality it’s only a couple of weeks. Soon you will be able relax and chill out over the break, free of all exam related worries. I find that reminding myself that it will all be over soon helps with the extra effort required to push through to the bitter end of the semester with ease. You will get through it. I believe in you.
It is not only the content
of our degree and diplomas that add to our wisdom and knowledge but the very
experience of going to school. For many of us, exam season is the greatest
stress many of us have ever had to endure. Learning how to cope and succeed
under stress is an invaluable skill that you can keep with you for the rest of
your life. Never forget to stop and smell the roses, not to hate everyone, cut
out toxic people, stay healthy and keep the end in mind.