Finals period! Oh what a wonderful time of year!
Sike. Let’s just be blunt. Finals. Period. Sucks. It’s a stressful time of year. End of story. There is really no way that a 2 week period testing your knowledge on ALLLL the things that you learned during the past 14 weeks could be anything but a little stressful. But there are some ways to make it suck less, and maybe to even harness some of that stress for good.
Above all- Don’t Engage in the Stress Competition at all costs!!!
Person 1:“I’m so stressed. I have 2 papers, and 3 finals to go. I’ve been up since, like, 6:30 this morning.”
Person 2: “Uh, me too. I’ve had like 6 cups of coffee today. I only got like 3 hours of sleep.”
Person 1: “Oh yea, I only got like 2.5. I had to finish that take home we had due for biochem.”
How often have you been hanging out with friends during high-stress times like finals period and suddenly found yourself in a similar conversation, wherein, one person’s stressors just feeds off the other’s. BEWARE! While this might seem like simple commiseration, it only serves to perpetuate an atmosphere of stress! In fact, let’s all actively FIGHT the stress competition. When you find yourself beginning to engage in a Stress Competition, immediately say something nice. Something positive. Do jumping jacks. Make a scene. ANYTHING but engage in the stress competition- for serious.
Oh and here are 6 other handy tips for finals times…
1. Make a Schedule: Sound familiar? You’ve probably received this advice on repeated occasions, but it’s a good suggestion, so it bears repeating. Many times, stress stems from trying to squeeze too much into too little time. By setting out a schedule, you help to structure your time, ensuring that you’re not left at the 12th hour with 20+ pages to read/write. (Bonus: By creating a schedule and using your time wisely you have more time for #3 and #4!)
2. Prioritize: Much like making a schedule, prioritizing helps you to avoid that last minute cram.
3. Avoid Productive Procrastination (Or Procrastination At all): Personally, I often try to do smaller easier tasks, while ignoring my looming larger assignments, something a friend of mine calls productive procrastination. While this might seem like at least I’m getting something done, it really just causes me extra stress when I have to scrabble to finish the BIG assignments in the end. Those little assignments aren’t going anywhere, and they’ll be just as easy when you’re done with the big one. Same thing for procrastination at all. It’s only going to sneak up on you in the end. Facebook, Twitter, that trip to Taco Bell will still be there when you’re done (and can even serve as a pleasant reward for finishing!)
4. Take Care of Yourself: I CANNOT repeat this enough. If your body is not well, your mind is not well. Deprive it of the essentials– sleep, nutrients from good food– it’s just not going to perform the way you want it to, and you’re not going to perform the way that you want to. So treat your body right. Take care of yourself.
5. Don’t Forget Balance: Staying balanced during finals period can be hard. But don’t forget to intersperse some of the activities that really make you happy in between papers and study sessions.
6. Set Realistic Goals: Know what you can and cannot do. Finishing an X page paper in X amount of time might be realistic for some, but not for you. Use this knowledge to help guide you in #1 and #2.
Any other great suggestions on avoiding finals time stress?
This is exactly what I needed. Good luck to all!!
The picture of the zebra reminded me of a documentary I watched last year called “Stress – the profile of a killer”.
It was awesome!
One of the most interesting tid bits of information was how they talked about humans handle stress compared to animals. They said if a zebra is doing its own thing and eating it is calm and stress free. As soon as it senses a threat fight or flight kicks in and it runs… heart rate goes up… adrenaline goes up… they are stressed. As soon as the threat goes away, they go back to being calm and stress free… in a healthy physiological state.
Humans on the other hand… the smallest thing will create the same stress as a zebra experiences being chased by a lion, but when the threat is gone, we don’t turn it off.
What you’re outlining are proactive steps that can be taken to avoid and handle the stresses that life throws at us, but sometimes people just need to “chill baby” and stop taking things to seriously, because they are literally shortening their lives.