Time and Stress Management: Surviving Finals

As finals week rolls around and summer starts peaking its head around the corner, students worldwide fight the struggle of “finishing strong.” Studying overwhelms our schedules, worries for our futures creep in, and we feel like if we don’t pass these finals the world might end. However, that last statement is far from the truth and there are ways to combat the former two, no matter how strongly we may feel there isn’t.

A great first step in the direction of lessening stress and improving time management is planning ahead. Plan ahead each day how much time you will dedicate to working on schoolwork, as well as time for yourself, socializing, and getting proper rest. Limit your time spent on social media, especially if it is preventing you from doing work that you need to do, and instead use that time to be productive.

Next, make sure you are getting at least 6-8 hours of rest every night, even weekends, and try to be consistent when you go to sleep and wake up each day. Inconsistencies in sleep cause higher stress, irritability, inability to focus, grogginess, and lack of motivation. Some ways to prevent inconsistent sleep are to avoid caffeine and large meals close to when you plan to go to bed, to be active during the day, to eliminate technology in bed, and to resolve any lingering worries before going to bed by writing them down or taking care of them during the day.

On that note, don’t forget to take care of yourself. I know it’s hard to step away from work, socializing, or even rest to focus on yourself, but it is so vital for your mental well-being. There’s enough hours in the day to allow yourself even 10 minutes every day to just rest in God’s word, reflect on your day or week, clean up your room, take a hot shower, take a walk outside, eat a healthy meal, or do anything else that may be beneficial to your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Remember, your health comes before anything, so it’s important to not neglect it.

In the midst of taking care of work, sleeping, and taking care of yourself, though, don’t forget to set aside time each day to do something you enjoy. Don’t let yourself get wrapped up in your to-do list and just allow yourself to enjoy life. This will greatly ease your mind and help you to remember that your life doesn’t revolve around what grade you may or may not make on your next exam, and that a perfect grade will not make the world stop spinning.

Lastly, don’t forget to keep spending time with family and friends (no, practice doesn’t count!). It is so wildly important to maintain healthy relationships in the midst of stressful seasons with people who will encourage you, lift you up, and comfort you, and is just as important to be that person to others as well. Without someone to share a laugh with or to vent to about all that is on your plate, you inevitably will break. So don’t let yourself fall into a study isolation, but instead share this season with the people you love.

So this week, write down everything you need to get done, plan ahead times to get them done, and plan times to spend on yourself, with friends and family, and doing things you enjoy. Create a consistent sleep schedule and hold yourself accountable. And most of all, don’t let the stress take away from living your life, but instead, find a way to make the most out of everything you do, even studying for that biology exam you’ve been putting off.

Below is a schedule of WBU campus events happening the week leading up to finals. We hope to see you there!

Monday, May 6: Late Night Breakfast 8-11 pm

Tuesday, May 7: Energy Drinks 10 am-1 pm

Wednesday, May 8: Donuts and Coffee 9-11 am

Thursday, May 9: Pizza, Board Games, and Music 3-5 pm

Friday, May 10: Fun Day 1-5 pm