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Surviving Finals Week

      Finals week. It’s a phrase that looms over us all semester. It’s when everything we’ve learned for the past four months culminates itself in the form of major exams, extensive papers and overwhelming projects. For some, we’ve become finals-week pros, but for others, it can feel like treading water. Believe it or not, though, finals will not be the end of you. Here are some practical tips for surviving the most stressful week of the school year.

  1. Have a plan

    It can be easy to get so overwhelmed by your to-do list you never do any of it, but in the end, that’s not going to help you. The only way to progress is to actually do the things. If you’re like me, you might schedule out your week – study for this test this day, write 3 pages of an essay this day – but if that’s not your styles, you can go smaller. You can choose to schedule day by day, or even hour by hour. Remember not to overestimate yourself, though. Don’t schedule yourself 3 hours in the library if you need to move around a lot. Don’t overload yourself if you work better in small chunks. Create your schedule in a way that actually serves you, instead of stressing yourself out more. But, make a plan, and stick to it.

  2. Give yourself a break

    When there’s so much going on, it can be hard to separate yourself from your work, but sometimes you have to. Remember to do things that make you happy, like watching a show or hanging out with a friend, going for a walk or getting off campus. Just because you’re not studying doesn’t mean that you’re wasting time. There’s no way your brain can intake all the information you’re trying to absorb without a break. You’ve got to give yourself time away from the stress to remember that there’s life outside of finals week.

  3. Have an end goal

    On that note, give yourself something to look forward to. Maybe being done with the semester is enough motivation for you, but if not, find something to work towards. Make plans with a friend for the days after your finals are done or decide to do something you find fun. Finals are always hard, but they can be so much easier when you can say “Okay, three more tests until I can ____.” Again, it can remind you of life outside of this week.

  4. Get some perspective

    Finals can feel like the end of the world sometimes. Without even realizing, we can put so much pressure on ourselves to do extraordinarily on every single assignment when in reality, that’s not always possible. Remind yourself that no matter how you do this week, you’re going to be okay. A low grade on an exam or even in a class does not define you or your intelligence, and at the end of the day it’s unlikely that either one will have much impact in the long-run. If you find yourself spiraling down that rabbit hole, ask someone you trust for affirmation, read Scripture, or take time for reflection. Remind yourself that if you’ve made it this far, you can continue to make it.

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