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Staying Sane Through Finals

Life throws many stressful curveballs, and we don’t always know how to handle them. With finals creeping up, those curveballs tend to only get worse. There are ways to help make this time of the semester less stressful. Sometimes all the reading and studying that is mandatory feels like a drag. It all can be overwhelming and hard to keep up with, so overwhelming that you might start procrastinating or doubting your ability to get it all done.

Today you are a step closer than you were yesterday.

Students often ask themselves, “Am I doing the right thing?,” “Others seem like they are more on top of things,” or “Should I be doing more?”.

These are subtle thoughts that a lot of students have, whether they admit it or not. These thoughts can lead to feeling difficult emotions that hinder motivation. With that being said, here are some ways to help with negative emotions and boost that motivation!

  1. Try figuring out which studying style works best for you. We avoid things we are uncomfortable with, whether that’s something new or a place we don’t know. Try making your studying experience fun and what fits you best.

  2. Do not blame yourself for procrastinating here and there. Discover why that is and continue to improve your bad habits. Try getting back to the task sooner than later.

  3. Do not run away from responsibilities. This will only add to the stress pile that is already there. It will push you to procrastinate even more and drain you emotionally.
  4. Ask for help! Oftentimes we think we've got it all figured out but that is false. It does not hurt to ask for advice or ways to make this time of the semester go smoother than ever. Remember you are not alone! Talk to your friends, instructors, or tutors.
  5. Set up a schedule. Make sure the question is, “how much could I realistically finish in three hours?” rather than “will I be able to finish all of these?”. This will help you not feel so overwhelmed and pushed to finish due projects. Tackle everything head-on, no avoiding! Try creating SMART goals.
  6. Don’t question your abilities! You’re more capable and stronger than you think.

One way to stay on top of all of these tips is to get a calendar or planner, and schedule your time! Here is an example:


  • 9:00 am-11:00 am: Eat breakfast, get ready for the day
  • 11:00 am-1:30 pm: Classes
  • 2:00 pm-3:30 pm: Lunch and study for Marketing final
  • 4:00 pm- 6:00 pm: Work on final Business project
  • 6:30 pm-8:00 pm: Dinner and relax
  • 8:00 pm- 9:30 pm: Night routine
  • 9:30 pm: Lights out


  • 9:00 am-10:00 am: Eat breakfast, get ready for the day
  • 10:30 am-1:30 pm: Run errands and lunch
  • 2:00 pm-4:00 pm: Study for Math final
  • 4:00 pm- 5:00 pm: Work our at gym
  • 5:00 pm-6:00 pm: Shower and dinner
  • 6:00 pm- 7:30 pm: Study for Spanish final
  • 7:30 pm-9:30 pm: Relax and night routine
  • 9:30 pm: Lights out

A little progress each day adds up to big results.

Finals are a stressful time. Managing a crazy school schedule while trying to prepare for holidays, traveling, and work responsibilities can leave you feeling drained. Taking care of your body and physical health is a key factor in managing stress and anxiety. Here are some tips to prepare your body for finals:

  1. Sleep! Your body and brain need rest. Get to bed early, or take a nap if you can.
  2. Eat protein and veggies every day to keep the brain sharp. Good food = good fuel.
  3. Exercise. Whether it is a specific workout routine or just an afternoon walk-in between study periods. This is important to clear the mind during such a busy time.
  4. Get outside. Vitamin D plays a huge factor in our health. It helps us sleep better which then gives us better control of our mood, making it easy to feel more motivated to eat well—and ya know—live your best life.
  5. Listen to your body! Sleep when you’re tired, eat when you’re hungry, and relax when you’re burned out. Remember, sometimes making progress means taking rest days.

Words of Affirmation and Encouragement:

Everyone handles this time of the semester differently; you are doing great! Here are a few reminders and manifestations to help you make it through the next couple of weeks:

  • “I am freeing myself from destructive fears and doubts.”
  • “I am confident and courageous. I possess the strength and ability to accomplish all of my goals and dreams.”
  • “I am more than a test score. I am a whole and wonderful person.”
  • “I believe in myself and my ability to succeed.”

The last but most important step to staying sane through finals is…set up a reward for yourself at the end. Whether it is a reward after each long day of studying or a big one after you have finished all your finals. You want to make sure you reassure yourself that you accomplished so much and are doing an amazing job. Do not ever downplay finals week.

This will also help motivate you to do your best. You can do this!