Tips to ensure a less stressful finals week

The end is near. The end of the semester, that is. Just a few more days and we’ll be out of here!


I’m not the type of person to get overly stressed out about school, but I’ve been feeling it these past two weeks.

I’m sure I’m not the only one.

But don’t lose heart; this week is just the final sprint of the marathon: Let’s just get through it.

In honor of finals week, I thought I would share with you some helpful ways to prepare yourself for exams, but while also helping you to stay relaxed in the process.

Some are serious, some are fun, but either way, I hope they make your week better.

First of all, please don’t freak out.

Most of the time, students tend to make it a bigger deal than it really is.

For better results, the Web site for the Office of Health Education at the University of Pennsylvania suggests that students take into consideration the weight of a final, but to not panic.

A final is important, but it’s not the end of the world.

The site also encourages students to take time to continue doing “renewing” activities which will pace your study time.

If you love to play tennis, then go play.

Finals week usually provides a more flexible schedule, so you can go participate in recreational activities when it’s convenient.

I have found from my own experience that exercise actually helps me to focus better. It relieves stress and gives you more energy.

One sure-fire way of maintaining mental health is to give of yourself this week.

Instead of being absorbed with your own problems, try doing something nice for your friends of your neighbors, who are also probably equally, if not more anxious than you are.

When you think of others, you’ll forget about your own stress.

Don’t resort to anger during this stressful time.

Please do not take your frustration out on your instructors.

Planning pranks on them, although fun, is probably not the best way to get that “A.”

Thinking evil thoughts about them will not help, either.

They’re people, too, and they’re probably just as ready for a break as you are.

A healthy alternative for a good stress release might be to make “homework protest” signs for your refrigerator.

Get out some paper and markers and just go to town.

Challenge your roommate to come up with the funniest anti-homework slogan, like “Love not study” or “Homework equals pain and suffering.”

It’s a great time. I know from personal experience.

Another way to ensure an “A+” finals week is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep.

Psychology Today’s Web site says that when we cheat sleeping, we’re actually, “short-changing the brain of learning potential.”

In other words, don’t pull all-nighters.

Listen to your body.

If you’re tired, then you need to go to bed. Yeah, you might cram a ton of studying in during that sleep time, but it’s going to be harder for your brain to retain it.

You’ll be better off if you’re well rested.

There’s a ton of things you can do these next few days that will help you relieve stress. Pray, jump up and down, run around the block, give your friends hugs, rock out to Mariah Carey’s Christmas CD, bake a cake.

If you’re a guy, you might consider throwing a football around, practice break dancing, or attempt to write your own Chuck Norris joke.

The possibilities are endless.

Most of all, keep your eyes fixed on the prize. In just a few days, we’ll begin a three-week break.

For many, it’s a time to spend the holidays with family and friends.

This is a great time of year. Don’t lose your sense of humor – keep smiling and keep laughing.

Have a great break!

Send comments to Lauren Walter at [email protected]