Ways for students to destress before finals

Ashley McCann, Opinions Editor

The end of every semester seems to creep up slowly and then suddenly explode into a horrifying, stressful mess. Those last couple weeks are often plagued by lost time, late nights and binge eating potato chips for “dinner” while simultaneously passing out under a pile of how-do-people-afford-these textbooks. The struggle is very real. While conquering finals week may seem impossible, there are some things that can make life more enjoyable – or at least less miserable.

First, go to bed earlier and try to wake up earlier. Sleep is important, and while this may seem like common sense advice, many students do not get the sleep they need. If a morning is chaotic, the rest of the day will most likely follow suit, so it is important to plan your morning schedule. Give yourself some extra time in the morning to relax. Sit at the table for a few extra minutes before you leave or take a few deep breaths before you get out of the car. Journal for five minutes when you wake up or organize your materials the night before so you can do something you enjoy. While setting aside some leisure time may seem idealistic, just a few minutes in the morning will do the trick, and it will pay off.

The partner of sleeping well is eating well. Poor nutrition can reduce a person’s ability to focus and can increase stress. Eating well will help give you the boost you need to navigate the day’s tasks, and when coupled with a healthy amount of sleep, finals week can seem less daunting and more conquerable.

However, if extra sleep trumps morning relaxation time, and eating healthy isn’t always possible, there are some other options to consider as well.

Making lists is a beneficial way to stay on track, and the more you cross off the list, the more accomplished you will feel. If a large list seems even more intimidating or time consuming, make a short list of day-by-day necessary tasks. The list can be handwritten, in a planner or even on an electronic device. Lists break assignments into small chunks and make the numerous assignments and finals seem more manageable.

Learning to say no is also an important part of making lists and reducing stress. Are you adding more to your list than is reasonable for you to handle? That’s probably a sign to cut the list down. Employ yourself with your capabilities. Saying no is not a sign of weakness, nor is it something to feel badly about. The last few weeks of school are intense, and time should be managed in the best way possible to ensure success.

As students of an academic community, we are all familiar with the stressors associated with the final stretch of the semester. While these suggestions are valuable, it is important to also investigate other options around campus.

The Center for Academic Success and Enrichment recently sent out an email detailing the many resources available to students during this trying time. These resources include: extended library services and food service hours, free online tutoring, numerous quiet study spaces and several additional stress relief opportunities. These resources will be offered through the end of the semester, and more information can be found at the Resources tab on the LARC website.

Ashley McCann
Ashley McCann is a junior english and secondary education major. This is her second year on The Flyer, but first as opinions editor.

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