Student Ambassador, Kara Smoot, provides stress reducing strategies everyone should keep in mind during finals!
Tips on destressing during finals week:
It’s that time of year again! Where all-nighters are spent cramming a semester’s worth of material while chugging a latte. I’m just kidding, don’t do this. There are much better ways to make sure you ace those final exams and term papers. These last few weeks may feel chaotic but practicing good study habits and TLC can go a long way. Here are a few tips I’ve come up with to avoid the finals week insanity:
1. Close your textbook and take a break:
Staring at your notes for hours on end won’t help you retain information for your exams, take a break! Close your laptop or your textbook and take a 15-minute break while you’re studying. It’s important to refresh your mind while studying for different courses. Take a quick power nap (be careful not to oversleep!), doodle on a napkin, or just do something you enjoy for a brief moment -- your notes will be there when you get back.
2. Practice time blocking:
This is one of my favorite time management methods. I tried time blocking to study for my accounting exam (all 12 chapters). Time blocking is when you schedule a certain time frame to complete a task. Imagine if you had an exam to study for and a term paper, you could schedule two hours out of the day for studying and set two hours aside in the afternoon for working on your paper. Each task is assigned a timeframe so instead of just listing what you need to do that day you can just assign a timeframe to finish one section and move on to the next. That’s it! There’s definitely less hassle.
3. Get your body moving:
Sitting in the library all day can make you feel a bit sleepy. Get up and start moving! You don’t have to do a full on workout but just taking a short walk somewhere can alleviate some stress. I like to get some fresh air when I plan on studying all day. At the University of Baltimore I take a swift walk to the Gordon Plaza and sit on a bench for a bit. You’ll feel way more relaxed after moving around instead of sitting and dozing off while going over your notes.
4. Find a calm place to study:
Where you choose to study can vary but it should always be a place where you’re comfortable and have few distractions. Sorry bedroom, Netflix is just too hard to resist! My favorite place to study is the Langsdale Library. There are tons of study rooms which is a huge plus if you’re someone that prefers complete quiet. If coffee shops get your energy flowing (don’t drink too much coffee!) head over to The Bun Shop on West Read Street and have a gourmet pastry!
Sleep is one of the most important things to remember before taking your exams. Having over eight hours of sleep can work miracles on your memory. If you cram everything in the last minute and pull an all-nighter you’ll probably feel groggy and remember less!
I hope you kick off spring semester less stressed and ready to go! Remember to spend just as much time caring for yourself as you do with studying.
- Kara Smoot
University of Baltimore