A Stress Free Finals Week
In a few days I will be complete with my 5th finals period. Finals are naturally a really stressful time. There are so many projects to finish, papers to write, office hours to go to, homework to finish, and of course final test. It also does not help that it happens to be at a very busy time socially as well, as fraternities and sororities have their formals (mine was last Saturday), clubs are wrapping up for the year (my a cappella group had a concert Thursday night), and I have been invited to about 12 different Christmas parties/dinners/end of the semester celebrations. I am also going abroad next semester, as I am sure you all know. So I have been trying to make time to hang out with my Vanderbilt friends, as I am not going to see some of them until August (and now I am sad). Surprisingly though, this finals period for me has been the calmest one of all compared to years past. That is because this semester I have tried my best to take a calm, confident, and positive approach to finals. So far, it has been nothing but a success. Here are a few tips and suggestions to keep the stress out of your finals week!
1. Study with your friends-Nothing sucks more than not being able to hang out and go out with your friends because everyone is too busy doing work. Too combat this problem, get a study room with your friends so you can at least be with them to cry in harmony about your sleep deprivation or how you are going to fail organic chemistry (hooray for not being pre-med).
2. Attend all of the wonderful events that Vanderbilt puts on during finals-There could not be more free food and coffee floating around this school right now. My dorm has already had two study breaks with coffee and food, I attended the Mega Stress festival on Friday night where there was free food, games, other stress relieving activities, and I even got a free message in rand Friday afternoon. Vanderbilt has so many activities planned that are free and fun to attend to help you feel calm during finals.
3. Make a schedule-I am not normally a schedule person. I actually hate them. They make me mad. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and carefully planning out a schedule has helped me organize my time in an effective manner.
4. Change up your study spots-I normally study in central library out of convenience and aesthetic pleasure. But studying in the same room for more than a couple of hours can make me pretty antsy. That is why it is so crucial to mix up where you a studying two or three times a day. I try to study with my friends for a few hours, study by myself in one of the eight libraries on campus, and then try to head to a coffee shop off campus to get out of the stressed out Vandy bubble for a few hours.
5. Make time for your friends-I can not stress this enough. Like I said earlier, you have to study anyways, so why not study in the same room with your friends. Or even grab lunch or dinner with them, sit down for a coffee break, go to the gym with them. Anything is better than nothing, especially at a time where social interaction can be a rare thing.
6. Make time for yourself-this may be the most important thing on this list. Sacrificing one hour a day to hang out with yourself is more important than an extra hour of cramming. Watch a few episodes of your favorite TV show, head to the gym, listen to some jams, or just chill out in your room. Last Wednesday the weather was so beautiful and I was pretty stressed out. So I took a break and laid in the middle of alumni lawn by myself to recollect myself and take a break from studying. It really turned my day around.
7. Stay healthy-don’t pull all-nighters if you can (I am a hypocrite because I pulled one last night), eat good food, drink a lot of water, and don’t over dose on caffeine products and energy drinks.
8. Last but certainly not least, take a second to remember what finals really are: something that won’t matter after you graduate college. While I wish the best of luck to everyone taking test and writing papers, one final is not going to make or break you. While it may seem like the end of the world if you do not do as well as you hoped, things will still turn out okay in the end. Just stay positive!
I am feeling pretty great today. I have one paper left, and a test on Thursday. I am feeling so good I will leave you with a quote from one of my favorite philosophers Epictetus:
“Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well””.
Best of luck, and go dores!