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Health and Wellness During Finals Season

Whether it’s staying up all night in the library to learn an entire semester’s worth of content or skipping a study break to get a few extra minutes of studying in, finals week can be a very stressful time for us all. Read below to learn a few tips on taking care of your mental and physical health during finals season!

Schedule your Time and Plan Ahead

The stress of having to take finals is overwhelming on its own and it can be even more stressful scheduling your study sessions last minute. Take the time now, with three weeks until finals, to plan out when you are going to study for your exams. First, figure out what content you need to study for each class. Then, schedule times to study for each of those subjects now so you’re not cramming the day before the exam. Lastly, you can also take the time now to start reviewing information and get ahead to take some of the stress off those days leading up to finals.

Take Breaks

Studying for twelve hours straight is not going to help you remember a semester’s worth of information. You’re going to dedicate a lot of time to studying for your exams and it’s important to give yourself a chance to step away from your books and destress. You could potentially read a book you enjoy, meet up with friends, or go for a run, or take a few minutes to step away from your textbooks and breathe.

Don’t Forget to Eat and Drink Plenty of Water

Physical health during finals is just as important as mental health. It can be tempting to skip a meal to get an extra hour of studying in but in the end that can harm you more than it can hurt you. Try eating less processed foods to help avoid sluggishness and eat more natural foods that will help you stay energized Taking your finals while sick can be just as bad as taking a final without studying so make sure you take the time to drink water and get a good meal even if you have to sacrifice a few minutes of studying. To emphasize, don’t leave out drinking water and eating delicious food to help you avoid getting sick during this already stressful time.

Look for Help if You Need It

It is okay to ask for help! Preparing to take an exam that covers information from almost four months of classes can be incredibly challenging. You have learned a lot and during that time you may have missed a few classes so reaching out to friends, tutors, teaching assistants, and even professors to help clarify something you missed can be the difference between really learning the material and just memorizing it. The Student Success Center at Virginia Tech offers individual tutoring, review sessions, and Zoom sessions for students.

Get Some Sleep

There is nothing worse than struggling to stay awake while you’re sitting in that 8:00 a.m. exam you stayed up all night studying for. Sleep is vital to feeling energized and helping you stay focused during final seasons. It can be tempting to spend a night in the library memorizing definitions but it doesn’t give your body the chance to rest and prepare for those exams you have to take. Even if it is only a few hours make sure you make time to get some sleep during finals season.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

For some students, finals aren't a daunting task while others are preparing to spend three days straight in the library to study. It’s easy to compare your habits during finals to others, but remember that what works for you may not work for everyone else. Some people study best in the morning while others study best late at night. People can study better in a public space like a library while others study better in a private space like their dorm or apartment. You have to find what works for you and avoid worrying about what is working for others.

You have worked hard this semester and are ready to take on finals week! Make sure you are taking care of your physical and mental well being during this time so you are feeling energized, focused, and ready to take on your final assignments of the semester!

By Katie Smith

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