Something we all know is that college will simultaneously be the best and worst four years of our lives.
There will be ups and just as surely, there will be downs. There will be times when content is just enough to handle but also times when the workload is more than you've ever felt; and when you get that feeling that it's more than necessary, more often than not it'll be the two weeks leading up to the final end of the semester.
Ah, finals. The worst part I mentioned...it's finals. But instead of fretting over this stressful week twice a year for the next four years, I find it better to stick by a few simple rules that can make a difference to the end game of making it out of finals week... successfully, of course. Here are five ways you can limit your stress and get yourself ready for this chaotic week all at the same time.
Prep prep prep
This is the no-brainer: studying. Studying will make all the difference in the world. But not just the day before, not just 3 days before. Weeks before. Getting yourself acclimated with the material before the week nears will always work to your advantage. Waiting until the last minute to try to cram in weeks of lectures isn't bound to work nearly as well as familiarity with the content will. As soon as a lecture is finished, make flashcards. Go in-depth with your notes. Find study partners. Make it a mission to get to know the material way before you have to so that its ingrained in your brain.
Sleep is your bestfriend
Whether you know it or not, sleep will be your bestie. For an unknown reason, it's been accepted that no sleep the weeks leading up to finals and the week of finals itself is beneficial. In all truth, this is so NOT beneficial. Sleep is necessary for human health and for productivity. Let's say your final is at 10:00 a.m.
You haven't slept. It's 5:40 a.m. and you're still up, studying, trying to get in every single last detail. By the time your final rolls around, you know what you need, but are you equipped to make it through the test? Have you slept well enough to perform? Absolutely not. Getting sleep, preferably that healthy eight hours, will make a difference in your week, your productivity and most likely your exam scores. So get to sleeping!
Health is wealth
What many don't know is that eating healthy, balanced meals can impact your intellectual world. Waking up in the morning, having a healthy breakfast is the most common way to positively effect your mind. Once you've fed your brain, you begin to process more effectively in the morning.
You're productive and ready to go! Just as well as having lunch and dinner, both o which should be incorporated into your everyday routine. Having balanced, healthy meals will allow your brain to function much better. You won't be hungry, you won't be worrying about what to eat. You'll be ready to stay on top of the game and get things done.
Social media cutoff
Gotta cut it off. One of the best ways to prepare for finals week is to let go of social media for a while. It is literally your biggest distraction. Getting away from the frenzy is good. Getting away long enough to pass your finals is better. If you want to succeed you cannot be caught up in the digital world more than you're caught up in real life.
In order to make the week of finals more successful for you, just put the phone away. After you've finished maybe an hour studying, quickly check, but don't waste your valuable time scrolling and clicking away when you could be preparing yourself to be successful.
You need a break
So, yes. You should be studying lots. You should be eating well and sleeping good. But you should also be giving yourself a break. A rest period. You don't need anything too long, but you do need an allotted amount of time to treat yourself. Go out for an hour or two. Do something for yourself, something that will make you feel more confident heading into the week. Take a deep breathe and relax.
The weeks leading up to finals are stressful and long so even while you're taking care of business, you should also be taking care of you. Make sure you're relaxing a bit and make sure you, your body and your mind are ready to conquer finals week.