It’s that time of year again: finals week. The last push until the end of the semester. This Monday, Whitman students began taking their final exams and turning in final papers for all of their classes, in what is no doubt the most stressful week of the semester. It often feels like too much to handle, with so many things to do in so little time. Even in my fifth semester here at Whitman, I still get overwhelmed when finals week comes around. However, through my experiences, I’ve learned several strategies to deal with the stress of finals, and I hope that you might find them helpful as well. Here are my finals survival tips:
- Practice Self-Care: This is something that people say all the time, but it’s still very easy to forget, especially in the midst of finals week. No matter how much studying you have to do, or how many papers you have to write, it’s important to just take a few minutes out of your day to relax and take care of yourself. Go on a short walk around campus, or maybe grab a milkshake with your friends. My personal favorite thing to do is to just sit back and listen to some music. Whatever you do, just remember that you are an incredibly hardworking and valuable person, and you deserve to give yourself a break.
- Attend Finals Study Breaks: All residence halls put on special study breaks for every night of finals. These provide the perfect opportunity to see friends and to just have fun in the middle of your busy finals schedule. I live in the Interest House Community, and in the past we’ve done Yogurt and Yoga Night, Story Time and Chocolate Fondue Night, as well as many others. Even if you live off campus, the Student Activities Center hosts several all-campus study breaks over the course of finals week. In my first year at Whitman, they actually brought some mini horses to campus for students to pet and feed! So no matter where you live, Whitman has got you covered with some fun study breaks.
- Call Home: Even though winter break is only next week, sometimes it can feel really far away with all the work we have to do for finals week. It seems like it might take ages before we finally finish our finals and can go home again. To give ourselves that little extra bit of motivation, it can be really helpful to just call and video chat with our friends and family from back home. Just seeing their faces and hearing their voices can be a nice reminder that winter break is coming soon, and all of our work will (hopefully) be finished.
- Take time to see friends: Finals week is also the last chance for many of us to see our Whitman friends for the entire next month, which is kind of a strange thought. After growing close with people over the course of the semester, it can be tough to go an entire month without them, and so it’s valuable to spend a little bit of time with them before break begins. Of course, that can be hard to do during the busiest and most stressful week of the year, but it’s important nonetheless, and it doesn’t have to take up a ton of time. Just getting lunch or dinner with a friend is a nice way to say goodbye before the end of the semester, and it can also serve as a much-needed break from all of our studying.
I hope you found these tips to be helpful, even if they made your finals week just the tiniest bit more manageable. Above all, it’s important to remember to take care of yourself during this stressful time, so make sure to get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, and take necessary breaks from studying. Trust me, winter break will be here before you know it. Good luck!