Advice, Campus Life, Lifestyle

A few small tips to help get you through the finals season

I always think of the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas break as a two-week sliver out of the 52-week-long year that we as students could do without. After less than a week back home, we are sent back to 28-degree Fahrenheit Boston weather with what seems like endless group projects and finals preparation — that does not seem very merry to me. 

Falling back into old routines like sleeping in your childhood bed, eating pancakes in the morning with your family and blasting Taylor Swift on the way to Orangetheory Fitness with your best friend is hard to leave behind, especially considering the impending brick wall of work between you and Christmas break when you can do it all again.

Nevertheless, we all got into Boston University for a reason, and these two weeks are make-or- break for us Terriers. If you’re running out of steam and you’re worried about not finishing the semester off strong, we are all right there with you. Here are a few useful techniques to slow your heart rate and release the tension in your body due to built-up stress.

Slow down, tips for finals season
A turtle progresses forward. Samantha shares three helpful tips to slow down and take a deep breath during this finals season. COURTESY OF RALPH KAYDEN VIA UNSPLASH

Take a deep breath and call your mom

Talking to your mom, or really any family member, is a great way to take your mind off of that piled-up work. I am 100% serious with this one. Your family knows you best and wants what’s best for you. I am sure they will remind you of how hard you worked to get here and how capable you are of crushing your finals. Even if you are not good at taking advice from others, I find that nothing quite soothes me the same as my mom telling me to take a shower, do my skin care routine, meditate or journal to center myself. 

Clean your space

It is often said that the state of your living quarters reflects your mental wellbeing and that could not be more true. For instance, if you walk into my room on any given day, it is usually clean. There may be a few dishes or pieces of stray clothes out, but for the most part, it is tidy. However, you could open my closet or desk drawers and find an absolute mess. The whole “together on the surface and chaos underneath” phrase really encapsulates me as a person. 

You can’t study in a pigsty. You just can’t. So take the necessary pause in your day and clean your room so you feel a small sense of accomplishment. It’s like when people tell you to make your bed every day to start out with a little victory. It helps to build momentum for the bigger, more daunting tasks ahead.

Talk to your teaching assistant 

There is a reason your TA is called the teacher’s assistant. The very fact that they’re in the position means they excelled in the course, know what they are doing and, if you ask kindly, will probably help you outside of class. Also, the professor took a particular liking to them. 

Either way, it has saved me to be on good terms with my TA because of their knowledge of grading and can share useful resources with you. Shoutout to you, David, even though I dropped the Measuring Financial Value class and will never take another business class in my life, you were a real friend.

I hope by using these strategies you can start feeling better. Everyone is going through the same thing as you. That being said, you are special and capable and will make this finals season yours for the taking. I believe in you.

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