With the end of the semester growing near, the stress levels will begin to rise with finals looming around the corner. Whether you are freaking out about passing that tough class or worrying about getting your life together before you
graduate, there is no need to fret. Follow these tips, brought to you by Mental Health America and Psych Central, to stay sane in these following weeks. Remember everything will be okay and you are awesome. Stay calm, and be Colonel.
1. Create a Game Plan
Map out when your assignments are due and the times and locations of your exams. By knowing this information, you can create a schedule of when to study and what topics to make your priorities. If you stick to your game plan, you can keep your stress under control and make it through finals with minimal breakdowns. A planner and sticky notes can become your best friends. Stay organized by planning ahead and color coding different subjects.
2. Don’t Forget to Sleep
With the rush to get everything done and achieve the best grade possible many people will trade in their “Z’s” for additional study time. This is not the ideal thing to do. Lack of sleep can impair your mood, memory and your ability to retain information. The brain needs sleep to repair and rebuild its cells to make sure you are functioning at your best. Recharge your brain cells by maintaining a good sleep schedule. Put the book down and get some sleep because your grades will thank you later.
3. Eat Well
As much as your brain needs sleep, it also needs proper nutrition. Consuming energy drinks and the mysterious old crackers you found in the back of the cabinet of your dorm are not the best option. Opt for healthy food choices like vegetables and proteins. By eating well-balanced food, you are giving your body the much needed energy it craves. Take some time to eat and use this opportunity to breathe and catch up with friends.
4. Don’t Overdo It On Caffeine
Caffeine can be your best friend but it can also be your worst nightmare. Studies have shown that caffeine may boost your mood and help with concentration. However, too much caffeine consumption can increase anxiety and make it difficult to sleep. These are the last things you need when it comes to finals week. Be sure to drink in moderation.
5. Make Time For Yourself
Taking breaks are important when it comes to studying. Overdoing it creates more unwanted and unneeded stress. When creating your game plan make sure to schedule some time to unwind. This could be going for a walk, getting some food, meditating or hanging out with friends. Try to stay away from social media and gaming. These can create unwanted distractions that suck you in, making it difficult to escape from. This also goes for things like Netflix. We all know once you watch one episode you have to watch another and before you know it, there goes 12 hours you could have been studying. It is all about self-discipline and self-control.
6. Cramming is NOT the Answer
Even though many of us like to think it is, cramming is definitely not the way to go. Cramming can create more stress and build up anxiety for your exam. Instead, stick to your game plan and be productive with the time you have. If you run a little behind schedule and have to cram some topics in, try to remain calm like the Colonel you are and do the best you can to succeed. Never try to cram an entire semester into one night. This is not a “challenge accepted moment.” Studying takes time, hard work and preparation. It is best to space out study sessions over time to avoid the case of “college cramming overload.”
7. MOST IMPORTANT: You are more important than a grade
You may think your grades define you and represent your character. Please remember that one bad grade or a few are not the end of the world. The world may have taught you that you need to succeed at everything the first time. This is not the case. Failure is a significant part of the learning and growth process on a personal and professional level. Are finals important? Yes. Is doing everything you can to get the best grade possible important? Absolutely. Is it worth risking your mental health and overall stability? Never. Everything you do is for yourself. The only person you have to impress is you. So cut yourself some slack, you are already awesome! Prepare for finals and work hard, but do not sacrifice your mental health for numbers on a test.