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Mentally Preparing for Finals

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by Lucy Collins

Finals are quickly approaching for Roanoke College students. In these next few weeks, feelings of stress and anxiety will increase among the student population. Stress and anxiety can be very crippling for most students, and the stress of preparing and doing well on final exams is a prevalent feeling among many college students. A good tip for reducing stress prior to exams is to efficiently prepare for the end of semesters final projects, papers, or exams. One way to do this is to create a schedule that includes due dates and times of exams. A schedule will hold an individual accountable for what he or she has to complete prior to finishing the semester. Diligently allotting time to each assignment is necessary in order to submit a sufficient final product. In order to efficiently prepare for final exams, creating personal study guides is a must. Sometimes, professors will not equip students with a study guide for the final exam, but they may give an outline of the topics that will be on the exam. It is in the best interest of the student to make their own study guides pertaining to each exam, including notes from class lectures, excerpts from sources, notes from PowerPoints, etc. Study guides are an extremely effective way to prepare for finals; it allows he or she to organize the material and study it in a way that pertains to them. 

There are numerous ways that students are able to relieve their stress when preparing for finals projects or final exams. The first helpful tip is to try and eat healthy and to get enough sleep. Eating healthy and sleeping well will help prepare the brain and body for the strenuous mental activity that is needed when preparing for finals, or when taking a final. If a student feels their mind starting to slow, it is their body telling them that it needs a break, and it is important to listen to the body in order to do well on final exams. The second helpful tip is to relieve stress by taking a break from studying and exercising. This does not mean that one must embark on strenuous exercise, but a nice 30-minute walk would suffice. Walking can relieve stress and is a great way to clear one’s head during stressful times. The next tip is to take a break by listening to calming music, or a favorite podcast. Although this may be distracting, it is important to relieve your mind of strenuous thinking for at least 15 minutes while studying or working on an assignment. Another tip to relieve stress is taking a hot shower or bath. Sitting in the shower or bath is always a relaxing and rejuvenating experience and is helpful to cleanse the body and mind from stressors by having alone time. The last helpful tip is to give small rewards to oneself. After completing a section of a study guide or a section of a final assignment, congratulate yourself for getting closer to being prepared for a final; the small rewards matter and are an excellent way to push oneself to the end goal! It is important to try and reduce unwanted stress that may be clouding the brain during finals season; hopefully these tips are useful when preparing for final assignments or exams!