Finals week is stressful no matter what your major is. It’s the culmination of an entire semester of work into one final test that often carries a lot of weight. No one can afford to fail their final exam. However, all this stress can do more harm than good. Sleepless nights, lack of food, and cram sessions can spike stress levels, decrease cognitive function, and make you groggy.
To be the sharpest tool in the shed on test day, you need to make sure you take care of yourself. Whether it’s your first time taking finals or your last, it’s important you and your study buddies take time to blow off some steam to give your brain a much-needed break. Take a look at our five ways to reduce stress during finals week below.
1. Go on a hike
College is expensive. After taking out thousands of dollars in student loans, you most likely don’t have the means to go on a luxurious vacation on a weekend during the school year. Instead, take advantage of your surroundings. Go on Google and search for parks, mountains, and trails near you. If they’re far, consider renting a car and splitting the cost with your friends or taking an Uber or Lyft. Taking time to be one with nature and explore the great outdoors is a great way to destress, boost productivity, and increase creativity.
2. Go to the arcade
Friendly competition is another way to blow off some steam. See if there’s a local arcade you and your pals can go to for some much-needed stress-relief. At the arcade, you can play some intense laser tag and take your frustration out on enemies with some harmless lasers. Or, you can play a round of bowling to see which of your friends has a secret talent.
For the arcade, you can test out fun games and even use your winnings to select a fun prize that will remind you there are greater stresses in the world than one test. Even better, if you’re on a tight budget, you’ll be able to choose how much money you spend on games because they don’t have a set price. You can always just tag along with your friends and have fun without spending any money.
3. Treat yourself to an in-dorm spa day
Spas are pricey. Luckily, you can recreate the spa experience right in your dorm room for virtually free. First, if you have a roommate, ask them if you can have the room for an hour or two, and promise you’ll give them their own privacy when they need it to eliminate any drama. Then, grab your bathrobe, a face mask, an essential oil diffuser, and turn on a soothing playlist.
As you relax and unwind, focus on all the positives in life and keep finals out of your mind. You can also treat yourself to your own mani/pedi with your favorite nail polish. If you live off-campus and have a bathtub, take a warm bath with a fragrant bath bomb and drift away.
4. Have a movie night
Rather than closing the library out until the wee hours of the morning, close your books and put your pencil down and have a movie night with your roomies. It’s a great way to bond with your housemates and avoid study burnout. Have a vote on the genre of movie you want to watch, pop some popcorn, and cozy up on the couch with some warm blankets.
5. Take a nap
Sometimes, a nap is all you need to recharge. Rather than staring at your books for hours on end without retaining a piece of information, set aside an hour to get some shuteye. You’ll wake up feeling rejuvenated and restored, which will help improve your studying. It’s also proven that taking a short nap during the day can help you retain information! Taking a nap is one of the easiest ways to survive finals week.
The bottom line
College is supposed to be fun. Yes, you’re there for an education and to obtain a degree. However, creating meaningful relationships and taking care of your body is just as important. To ensure you ace your final exams this semester, give your body and brain a break with one of these five tips on how to blow off steam during finals week.
For more great college tips, be sure to read the other blogs on College Basics.