Have you ever seen a stress-free college student? I haven’t, unless you count the freshmen who mess up the first half of the semester, say “screw it” to the rest and never attend class again. But that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Stress is a huge part of the college experience, and it’s something we all have to deal with in life. We don’t, however, have to let it get the best of us.
This may come as a shock, but stress DOES NOT have to take over your life, no matter how many finals you have. You can still do well on your tests without wanting to die for an entire week.
I know this is a fashion site, but it’s also a site about college life, and finals are a huge part of that. Here are my top tips for keeping stress at a minimum during your hectic final exams week that is probably happening right now or very soon at your school.
Just for the record, these tips actually work, and the list doesn’t include any cliche’ crap that doesn’t, like “deep breathing exercises”.
1. Avoid stressful people.
Stress actually is contagious. During exam week, resist the urge to have a study session with your super-tense friend, especially if she’s complaining about all the work she has to do and breaking pencils all over the place. Her stress will only add to your stress.
2. Eat healthy and exercise.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a wonder how many people forget it. Skip the sugar, which will make you crash, and go for snacks like granola bars, healthy cereal or fruits and veggies to keep your blood sugar stable. If you’re studying for a long period of time, eat some protein too. Also, try to get some form of exercise. Even a 10 minute walk will leave you calmer and more focused.
3. Just say NO.
I don’t mean to drugs, although I’m not recommending them or anything. What you need to say no to are the people who want to take up your time. There will probably be a friend who needs to talk to you for hours about her life, or a keg party the night before your final, and if you say yes, you’ll probably be tempted to blow off studying. Resist the urge. Say no to the distractions and be selfish for a day. You want a good GPA, right?
4. Force yourself to take breaks.
For every hour or so that you work, take a 10 or 15 minute break. Let yourself do whatever you want (check Facebook, check out that guy sitting nearby, stare off into space, call a friend, etc.) for those 10-15 mins, then start working again. This gives your brain a little rest and will help keep you more focused when you are actually doing work.
5. Visualize it all going right.
This is actually my favorite tip of all, even though it sounds kind of nuts. Imagine yourself taking the test and feeling confident that you know all the information. Picture getting all of the answers right, and focus on how relaxed you feel. Then picture the A on your test paper. When you imagine a happy ending, that’s often what happens, because you make the decisions that lead to it without even realizing.
6. If you’ve studied all you can, get up your confidence!
When test-time rolls around, it’s time to get yourself into confidence mode. You’ve prepared as much as you could, and now it’s time to ace the test. The tip here is to do whatever works to convince yourself you are going to do really well. Again, I know this tip sounds a little crazy but you just have to try it for yourself. I think you’ll like the results.