Going into my fifth semester of finals, you would think I would have it all figured out by now. I can sit here and spew words onto this keyboard as if I have all the answers and the perfect formula to pass all of the tests with A’s, get enough sleep and not cry for the whole week. To be honest, I will not accomplish any of these. The thing is, I know all of the things I should be doing in preparation for finals, but I choose to procrastinate and fall into the depths of Netflix marathons or naps while avoiding my problems. So here’s some tips to deal with your own personal flaws that will inevitably drag you down.
The all-time killer of quality. Procrastinating during finals week will inevitably lead to tragedy, and I promise you, you will procrastinate.
Make a to-do list. SERIOUSLY. Do it. When deadlines are written down and organized on a physical piece of paper instead of floating around in your brain, life will become slightly less hectic. You will be able to prioritize, and when you do procrastinate due to exhaustion, at least you will not be stressing about if that thing really is due tomorrow instead of the next day. This written schedule will also give you a bit of inspiration. The satisfaction of crossing things out when they’re done can drive your determination and combat the threat of procrastination.
This is a time of high stress and the pressures of school on top of any social, health, or personal problems can lead to tears and tears and tears. That’s okay.
Cry it out. It is so much healthier to give yourself time to unleash your emotions than to bury them inside. Having a good cry will actually release chemicals in your body that raise cortisol, a hormone linked with stress. So you will actually push stress out of your body, putting you in a better mood and in a better mindset to complete tasks. Emotional breakdowns are magical and I highly encourage them.
Solution to the Solution
So maybe you don’t want to get to the point where you have to run to the bathroom of the library and sob away your anxiety? Me too. There are ways to avoid the stresses that eventually build up to that point of extreme stress that we really don’t want to experience:
Remember that handy to-do list you made? Yeah, that’s gonna be your new BFF this week. Create a game plan from it that works for you and stick to it.
Huffington Post researched the most effective break methods. Working for 90 minutes with a 10-minute break in between seemed most effective, and they suggest a specific type of break. Instead of taking a break from typing on a screen to watch TV on a screen, get away from it! Your body will be exhausted from sitting and staring for such a long time, so let it free and go on a walk, have a talk with your real best friend (not the to-do list), stretch, or do anything that involves moving your body.
Drink that latte and eat your favorite food. Keep your body fueled and your brain will feel better, too.
Talk to people
Knowing that everyone else is experiencing the same thing that you are is comforting and it will fuel your motivation. Laughing helps, too.
Don’t put an unbearable amount of pressure on yourself. You are human, remember that.
Remember this, above all else. You will survive.
Collegian writer Rachel Hamalian can be reached at email@example.com.