Today: Jul 17, 2024

Manage stress 101: how to survive finals

photo courtesty motifake.comSIMONE VIRZIStaff Writer

It’s hard to believe, but finals are almost here! We all know finals can be a stressful time, but you can make it through the end of the semester without killing anyone! For starters, breathe before you have a panic attack. Then take these tips and apply them to finals or to any other time you find yourself overwhelmed.

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee

            I’m not a morning person. I tell people I’m not functional until noon, and yet I have an 8:10 class twice a week this semester (which I actually haven’t missed once). My solution is coffee. However, it seems like when you need your coffee fix, the line at Dunkin’ is always long; and it’s even worse during finals. So there’s a bunch of cranky college kids impatiently waiting for their freaking coffee. Instead of standing in line complaining (God knows I don’t want to hear you), go to the Bagel Wagon, the Dunkin’ down the street or overrated Starbucks. Or make coffee at home—it’s cheaper! If you desperately need that cup of joe, try using one of these alternatives instead of Dunkin’ at the student center. And if you dare to wait in line, don’t complain, because I warned you.

Sing a Song

A couple of months ago, I was really stressed out. Every single week has felt like midterms for me. I have so much stuff to do I can’t even breathe. I was so overwhelmed I just wanted to scream at the top of my lungs. However, I decided to shower. For no particular reason, I started singing 80s songs, then Christmas music. Mind you, this was early October. Still, singing had some magical power and I felt better and less stressed. Am I the best singer in the world? Absolutely not. But that’s OK. You don’t have to be. Sing! It doesn’t matter what. Just sing. If you want to get really crafty, bring your iPhone in the bathroom and sing along with Pandora; it’s free music!

Splish Splash, I was Takin’ a Bath

If you’re stressed, take a long, hot shower or bath because it’s a great way to relax. Think of showering as meditating—try not to think about anything. Make this your “me time.” Be selfish once in a while! Those 20 or 30 minutes could do you good! Another thing— around finals some kids skip showering for a couple of days because they’re lazy or think they’re too busy—please don’t be one of those people. Finals time is never an excuse to throw hygiene out the window!


Whether or not you’re going to admit it, all of us have procrastinated at one time or another. Some of us do it more frequently than others. I’m often guilty of this, but waiting until the last minute to study, work on a final essay or complete a final project is a worse idea than participating in a penguin plunge. Recently, I was texting random people. I was doing anything but homework. One of my friends asked what I was up to, and I told him I was procrastinating. He said, “Procrastination is like masturbation—in the end you’re just ‘screwing’ yourself.” After laughing, I realized he was right. Granted, I did a whole lot of nothing for another hour, but if he hadn’t given me that piece of advice, I probably wouldn’t have started for another four hours. Try to motivate yourself! The quicker you start something, the faster you’ll be finished.

When it comes to studying, I absolutely do not recommend waiting until the night before to start looking over your notes. Start studying little by little instead of cramming it all into one night. If you wait until the night before, you won’t get as much sleep, you’ll be exhausted the next day, and you probably won’t do as well as you could have. Don’t get me wrong, some people (including myself) have waited until the last minute and winged a test. But if it’s a subject you’re not comfortable with, or an exam that involves memorization, try to start studying at least three nights beforehand.

Rewarding Yourself

            Sometimes we all need that extra kick to motivate us to finish a project or study for that ridiculous physics final. So why not give yourself a reward for accomplishing a project or finishing an exam? You could give yourself a daily reward (happy hour, anyone?) or you could give yourself a big reward after your last final. Or you could do both, as long as one reward doesn’t distract you from studying for a test, etc. For instance, you don’t want to go to happy hour because you got through the first day of finals, but you’re so trashed there’s no way you’re going to study for your exam the next day. Reward yourself with a trip to New York after finals are over, or buy a new pair of Ray-Bans or something else you really want. Although it may not seem like an awesome idea, give it a try. You’ll want to get that reward, and you’ll find yourself pushing yourself to do the best you can.

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