Three Ways College Students Can Stay Mentally & Physically Healthy During Finals Week
Every college or university has a “Finals Week,” a time when the semester winds down and stress runs high with tests, papers, and projects all coming together at once. With students so focused on completing their work and acing their tests, many fall short when it comes to taking care of themselves.
Every year, a number of college students find themselves under the weather either during Finals Week or as it approaches, making it even more difficult to focus on schoolwork.
Here are three things college students can do to stay mentally and physically healthy during Finals Week, allowing them to end their semester on a high note.
Get organized to ease stress
“Stay organized” is a rule to live by for college students, but it becomes especially important around Finals Week. Organization helps students have a better handle on things like what assignments are due on certain dates or where a certain final is taking place.
Increased organization will help students feel more prepared and in control, which in turn helps ease stress. Stress can weaken the immune system, meaning stressed students are more likely to get sick.
Before Finals Week kicks off, students should categorize each of their classes, noting which classes require finals, which classes have outstanding work, and other pertinent information.
Writing these things down, whether on paper or in a note-taking app, allows students to have a clear list of what’s coming up and what’s been done.
Plus, who doesn’t love the feeling of checking something off of a to-do list?
Make time for breaks and exercise
For many students, Finals Week and the days leading up to it are filled with non-stop studying, as students use these so-called “cram” sessions to try to be as prepared as possible.
While it may seem like devoting all of one’s time to studying is a good thing, it’s important to set aside time for breaks as well. After all, the human brain can only absorb so much information in one sitting!
Taking breaks while studying allows students to pull themselves away from their work for a while, helping to clear their heads. Quick breaks also may help reduce stress, allowing the mind to take a break from that term paper or final.
These breaks don’t have to be long or time-consuming to be effective.
They can be something as simple as taking a 5-minute walk on campus each time an essay page is finished, or leaving the textbooks in the dorm room during lunch.
Exercising, whether it’s a trip to the campus gym or going on a jog around the city, can also be a great way to take a break from studying. Exercising reduces stress, helps get the blood flowing, and helps clear the mind, allowing for better focus once the studying resumes.
Get a good night’s sleep
It goes without saying, but getting a good night’s sleep is rarely at the top of any college student’s agenda. Whether it’s due to schoolwork or social events, staying up until the wee hours of the night isn’t uncommon.
Late nights become even more common during Finals Week, as students pull all-nighters to try to get as much work done as possible, whether it’s memorizing that formula or perfecting that essay conclusion.
While it may seem like a good idea to maximize the amount of study time one has, it’s still vitally important to get enough rest!
College students who consistently don’t get enough sleep are more susceptible to getting sick due to weakened immune defenses. A lack of sleep can also lead to a groggy, dazed feeling, which isn’t great for anyone taking a test.
Finally, not getting enough sleep can make retaining information more difficult, meaning those facts a student spent all night memorizing may be hard to recall the next morning.
If students take the “get organized” approach to Finals Week, they’ll be able to budget enough hours during the day to get their work done.
This will allow the students to get to bed at a reasonable hour without feeling like they’re leaving too much work for the next day.
For students who find themselves crunched for time, take a few minutes to organize your tasks in terms of priority. Tackle the high-priority items first, then consider getting some sleep.
After all, the work will still be there in the morning!