It's that dreaded time of year again for college students everywhere: finals week. It hits right between the enjoyable time of having some time off from classes to relax over the holidays and the semester being over.
It's that time when everyone starts going into all-or-nothing mode: those who either give it everything they have to pass finals with flying colors and those who shrug their shoulders and decide to roll the dice. Regardless of where you fall on this spectrum, it is rare to find the student who does not experience any stress at the thought of finals week.
Now the words "finals week" might give you the initial instinct of crying or wanting to go into denial until the whole ordeal is over. You might end up feeling exhausted and completely stressed out during all your exams. But fear not!
You might think there is no hope left to be found (save for a professor, by some miracle, grading on a curve), but there is still time if you're in doubt of yourself. There are numerous ways to stay calm and do well during exams.
The first step to staying calm is rounding up a good study group that will have your back to help you through the whirlwind of emotions you'll be going through: staying calm, grounded and focused by combining your collective strong suits while studying. Whether you have a study group already or not, many campuses have cram groups and tutors available to help you focus your energy most effectively.
Next step for staying calm is getting organized. Whether you're a "plan everything to the minute," or a "go with the flow sort of person", being organized and having a plan of action figured out is something that can be helpful for everyone. Think about all your priorities and how much time you need to complete each thing every day. Make sure that you set aside intervals for breaks between tasks, that you leave plenty of time to get eight hours of sleep and that you're eating well (not just finding five minutes to eat ramen).If you find yourself getting overwhelmed either during the exams or just in general, try to take a moment and breathe. It sounds simple or silly to just say "Breathe you! This stress shall pass!". It's okay if you don't believe me right now, but simple breathing and taking a moment to pause and calm down really makes a big difference in keeping you from crossing the line from overwhelmed to panicked. Making sure that you're sleeping on a regular schedule is more important than ever during this time. Saying sleep is for the weak does not make you stronger or cooler, it just makes you tired and actually works against you in terms of being able to remember what you spent all night studying.
So yes, it's stressful to generally all college students to prepare and deal with finals week, but it isn't impossible — even if it may feel like it at times — nor is it permanent. It's one more week of work but with staying calm, taking care of yourself inside and out and working with a good study group, there's no reason to dread the end of the semester. Always remember that, yes, it's an exam, but don't jeopardize your health trying to cram a semester worth's of information in one night. Pace yourself and ask for help when studying, because as quick finals come, they'll be over before you know it.