I’ve written this blog with my college students in mind, but if you are in high school and feeling similar stress as your college friends, you should find these tips helpful to get through finals. Let me know if you agree!
Here you are. another term ending, and undoubtedly, there is something you wish you’d worked harder at. In fact, you might find yourself in relatively “big trouble” because you haven’t kept up with studying or homework or projects or term papers.
Granted, you can’t roll back time, so that’s “water under the bridge (or over the dam)” as the sayings go. Instead, you’ve got no other option than to look ahead and take action that can help you get through finals. Here are the big ones:
Sort your priorities.
If you have too much to do to fit into the remaining days and hours, sit down, make 3 lists: a) requires minimal effort, b) requires normal effort, and c) requires most effort. Using the timeline of your remaining days, estimate how many hours you will need to invest into each project/assignment/exam in order to accomplish a reasonable goal of completion. Then, using your calendar, schedule time by hours to spend on each one. You CAN do this! You simply need to start now.
Get the right amount of sleep.
Don’t pull all-nighters. It will backfire on you. Your brain needs the REM sleep to recharge. Without sleep, you’ll be wasting your effort.
Drink water, eat protein, stay away from caffeine.
Ya, I know, you’ll probably need the caffeine. But at least drink enough water to more-than-replace it. Don’t overeat, but don’t skip meals. Snack on high-protein items like cheese or yogurt. It’s brainfood. Keep some fruit and veggies in your diet, too.
Get some exercise.
Try to keep your positive workout routine (assuming you have one). Use your study breaks to your advantage by going for a brisk walk, short run, or quick game of buckets, rather than spending it in front of your computer or TV screen. Lots of colleges are bringing in puppies and kittens to relieve stress during finals. Unless you’re allergic, go get your dose of puppy love! Animals can be a huge de-stressor!
Keep connected with your professors, advisor and counselors.
Really, this is the time to keep in touch and have a brief discussion with your professor about any part of the class you are struggling with. No need to whine about how hard the class was, just try to get some clarification on what you need most. And, more importantly, if you are feeling super anxious or really depressed, go see a counselor in the campus counseling office! These people are here to help you, and it can make a big difference in your ability to cope.