5 de-stressing methods for a distressing finals week

Graham Shapley

Finals week is undeniably the most stressful time of the school year.

Every project you have been putting off is due, every five-page paper needs to be written and rewritten and every exam warrants several hours of study. It’s the last hurrah of the school year and the last chance to bring grades up to something presentable. It all comes down to this.


Mental Health America, a mental health organization, suggests a few study strategies including not skipping on sleep, creating a game plan ahead of time and most importantly, adding in breaks.

The question becomes what to do with the hour between study sessions, and if you should really get started on that project. If you have a free day or hour, you might need to forget about that test you’re not ready for.

Finals week is always the most stressful time of the year for students. Fortunately, there are ways ease it up a bit.
  1. Rest your eyes.

Your mileage may vary with this one depending on how well you take naps. Set as many alarms as is necessary to wake up at the end of it. Oversleeping can be detrimental to a tight schedule.

Just taking some time away from the computer and resting your eyes can improve a headache or even get rid of it entirely. Get away from a screen, including your phone, and find somewhere comfortable, like a chair in the Morgan Library. If you have been at the computer long enough, your neck probably hurts too.

2. Listen to something.

Podcasts and audiobooks are a great way to step away from your work without shutting your brain off. There is a variety of awesome podcasts out there, but if they are a bit too time consuming, music should work just as well too. Tune in to 90.5 KCSU – there is all sorts of good music over there from CSU student DJs.

3. Play some games.

Besides video games, think about breaking out a deck of cards and play a few rounds of poker or go fish.

If you own a lot of board games, pick a day to take a break and invite some friends over to play. They will appreciate the offer for some friendly competition and nostalgia. 

4. See a movie.


A new ritual to keep up with friend is to see a movie toward the end of finals week. It gives students something to look forward to and something to take your minds off the countless assignments.  For an interesting film viewing while supporting local theater, a trip to the Lyric Cinema is a good option. 

For the people who don’t want to leave their house, consider browsing Youtube, Netflix or Hulu. Get out of your comfort zone and watch something you normally would not. For some suggestions, check out some Collegian Reviews to see anything you might like.

5. Go for a walk. 

Just go outside for a bit. You probably have been breathing the stale, sweaty air of Morgan Library or your room. It is a bit cold out, but the cool air feels good on lungs especially when they have been in the same location for the past five hours. Stretch your legs, your back and move a bit before sitting back down again.

 A change of scenery and taking a walk does wonders to help break through a tough problem or writer’s block.

If you have planned out your study and project schedule, find some time for yourself and do not burn out.

Collegian reporter Graham Shapley can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @shapleygraham.