Finals week is notoriously stressful for college students. Since final exams often make up a pretty significant chunk of your grade, you need to perform well in order to keep up your GPA. They also offer many students the opportunity to boost a subpar grade at the end of the semester.
In other words, there’s a lot of pressure surrounding the last week of classes. You might not think it’s possible to remain calm under this onslaught of stress, but if you get overwhelmed you’re only setting yourself up for failure.
You need to find ways to de-stress and stay calm during finals week in order to maximize your efforts and see positive results. Here are a few tactics that should help you to keep your cool during finals week in college.
Okay, sitting in the lotus position and chanting may not be your cup of tea, but you don’t necessarily have to go all Zen master to meditate. This practice involves calming your mind, relaxing your body, and focusing your thoughts, all of which are great for study.
Even better, a research team of neuroscientists at Harvard found that exercises in meditation and mindfulness reduced beta waves, which respond to sensory input. Calming brain activity in this way allows for increased focus and stress reduction, both of which are ideal when you’re trying to retain information.
Make a Plan
When you have a lot to do in a day, you might make a list so you don’t accidentally forget to pick up milk or your little brother from school, just for example. When you create a plan for your day you don’t have to stress about getting everything done.
The same principle applies to preparing for finals. When you set aside time to study and create a plan detailing how that time will be spent, your stress level is sure to diminish, setting the stage for more productive study sessions.
Repeat a Mantra
You might think that daily affirmations are more than a little hokey, but have you actually given them a try? What do you think happens when you constantly say things like “I’m never going to finish studying” or “I’m not ready for my finals”. These statements become self-fulfilling prophecies.
The other side of the coin, however, is that you can use a positive mantra to reinforce your study habits. When you repeat phrases like “I know this stuff”, “I’m a great student”, and “I’m ready to pass the test” you’re almost certain to do better on every exam.
Make a Soothing Playlist
Relaxation isn’t easy to come by during finals week, especially if you’re cramming. Instead of listening to the despair of the student in the next dorm room, download some classical music from iTunes and pop on your Beats by Dre. The right playlist can help you relax and boost your brain activity while you study.
Take a Hot Shower and a Nap
When all else fails and you need to relax, there’s no better way than hopping in a hot shower and following it up with a siesta. Studying and stress can take a lot out of you. In order to ensure optimal performance, you need to relax and let your brain recover.
If you want to get the most out of USC’s MPH online program, acing your finals is a must. When you find ways to stay calm you have the best shot to succeed in your endeavors.