As December approaches, there is one dark thought in everyone’s mind: Finals. The exam that can decide whether you pass or fail a class is easily one of the most difficult parts of academia, but there are a few things that can make it easier. The biggest one is finding a way to calm down and relax during a very stressful part of the school year. Everyone has a different method of coping with stress, but here are a few healthy ideas that might be good to try (especially if you have a habit of panicking and cramming and pulling all-nighters right before the exam).
1.Take a nap. This may seem a little counterproductive when it comes to studying, but there is plenty of research that shows your brain just works better when you get enough sleep. It gives you a chance to reset; you wake up refreshed and can get back to work again once you’re in a better head-space. This is exceptionally important if you have been staying up late to study. How can you expect to remember all those vocabulary words when you can’t even remember what day of the week it is.
2. Eat something. And no, the bag of chips you found in your backpack and a candy bar from your friend does not count. Eat something healthy like fruit or trail mix—something that will give you an energy boost without a nasty crash. Putting unhealthy junk foods into your body only makes you feel tired and sick and that’s not what you want during finals.
3. Go for a walk—and that means somewhere outside. Walking around your dorm or down the hall to your kitchen isn’t enough. Fresh air does wonders for your health. You can go out and sit in the sun for a little while or play in the snow and pretend you’re eight years old again. It’s Colorado, so chances are you’ll get the opportunity to do both before the semester is over.
4. Partake in one of your hobbies. If you like to paint, then pick up a brush and swipe some pain ton a canvas. If reading is your go-to, then find a book and read a chapter or two. Maybe you spend most of your free time hanging with friends; talking or playing a game or watching a movie together is a great way to get your mind off of finals long enough for you to relax.
5. Utilize your resources on campus. Mines has several different programs and facilities available for students that are stressed out. You can check out the Daily Blast for Wellness classes and seminars. For example, there are things like seminars on how to manage test anxiety, mindful Mondays, and plenty of aids from CASA if you just can’t stop freaking out about the exam. You can stop by the Wellness Center or the Counseling Center for help on how to stay healthy and limit your stress as finals approach.
The most important thing to remember is that help is always available at Mines. Finals week is a very difficult part of the year, but there are tools around campus to help make it easier. Everyone deals with stress and studies in a different manner so don’t panic if your friend’s method doesn’t work for you; some people can study for several days and do great while others don’t study at all and get the same score. That’s okay. Just take a deep breath and do whatever works best for you. You’ve got this!