Stress will make or break your finals
Finals week is right around the corner which means long nights, short breaks and lots of stress. However, a life without stress is a life without development and the sense of empowerment. According to Sunniva Harmens who is a student psychologist and counselor, stress can be a good thing; when getting stressed while working with finals, your energy level increases and leads to better achievements.
Stress can also be something you feel “attacked by,” which is the kind of stress we as humans need to work on. Feeling attacked by stress can make you demotivated, frustrated, and work less effective. I think all students are stressed out this time of year, and therefore I want to give you some tips of how to control stress during finals week.
1. Prepare yourself by taking notes through the quarter
When you are in class take detailed notes, so you can look back at what you have learned through the quarter. This way you can save yourself from all the work of reading entire chapters or books before your finals. By taking notes you will also remember more of the material learned in class. Worthy advice is to read through your notes after class.
2. Focus on what you are good at
Focus on positive feedback and results you have gotten through the quarter; instead of focusing on everything that may go wrong on your final. A positive attitude can increase your confidence, and also increases efficiency.
3. Take breaks
Do not be afraid to put your books aside and let your brain disengage for a while. Some fresh air and socializing can improve your concentration. Even though your brain is not focused on your paper at the time, you are subconsciously still working. If you are stuck on an issue, let your brain focus on something completely different for a while and when you get back to it you may be surprised the answer was right in front of you the whole time. It is important to be able to distinguish between school and your social life.
4. Concentrate on your dieting
I know it is tempting to order a large pizza and skip the cooking, but your body needs nutrition to work optimal. You should also drink a lot of water, and avoid caffeine in situations where you are more stressed (as right before a presentation). When you are combining stress and caffeine, your cortisol level increases much more than by stress alone. Instead eat raw fruits and vegetables to increase your energy level. My personal favorite is a tasty, green juice from Pressed Juicery.
5. Do not compare yourself to others
Do not think everyone else is working much harder than you, that is not always true. Everyone has their own way of doing things, and by focusing on what others are doing well you may lower your own self-esteem. Don’t compare yourself to others; rather compare your own performance to previous achievements.
6. Cooperate with others
Study among other students; even though you are doing separate assignments. By cooperating you can learn from each other, get different perspectives, and motivate each other. It can also be a good idea to read your paper out loud to see if it is well put together. By letting a partner read your material you can also avoid stupid grammar errors.
7. Do not focus on what you have not done
Do not think or say, “I should have started this assignment on Monday” because there is nothing you can do to change
that. Rather emphasis on what you still have time to do, and use your energy doing those tasks. The most important part is you trying your best.
8. Think of your finals as tests of knowledge
Many people stress too much about their final grade. If your grade is worse than expected, you may get sad and angry with yourself. Therefore, it can be a smart trick to look at the final as a casual test of knowledge, instead of a grade that will stay on your transcript for the rest of your life. Your grade shows how well written you final was, not rank you as an individual.
9. Do breathing exercises
When you get nervous or stressed, some breathing exercises may help. When humans are in situations where they get very stressed, they forget to breath normal. This exercise can be accessed anytime, anywhere, making it a very portable stress-reduction method.
- Sit comfortably and place one hand on your abdomen below your ribs and the other over your heart.
- Breathe deeply through your nose, expanding your belly so it pushes against your hand.
- Purse your lips and breathe out, feeling the air as it escapes.
- Use your hand to gently press all the air from your belly. Repeat three to 10 times.
10. Put your cellphone away
Many students get so distracted every time their phone makes a sound, that they end up spending more time on their phone than actually studying. With today’s wide range of social medias you can get disturbed every five minutes if you are the type that allows yourself to be disturbed. Put your phone away and rather enjoy all the updates later.
Good luck everyone!