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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

How to survive the semester's final stretch

After Thanksgiving “break,” which is just another excuse for professors to pile on the homework, comes everyone’s favorite time of year. And no, I’m not talking about holidays — although I wish I was. I’m talking about hell week, cram week, frantically-trying-to-pull-my-life-together week. Or, in a calmer sense, finals week.

Sigh. Every student knows the feeling that comes when Thanksgiving break ends, and they’re suddenly forced to face the pretty sizable pile of homework they neglected to do while they were spending time with their families and friends during break. The hours spent catching up in the library will turn into days, and then finals week comes along just like a sweet cherry on top of the recipe for disaster.

To help all you college students survive, here is a list of ways to help manage the stress that will undoubtedly accompany finals week.


Hit up the gym to help take your mind off school and relieve some stress. It could be as simple as a walk on the treadmill, or as vigorous as a run combined with the Stairmaster, but working up a sweat can help ease the tension that builds up during the semester’s end. Adding music to your workout helps create extra stress relief, too!

Listen to Music

Music is a proven way to help relieve stress for many people. Sometimes, putting some headphones in, closing your eyes and just relaxing can help ease your worries. Choose a playlist that includes all your favorite songs, and dance the stress away with the beat.

Hang Out with Friends

If you can manage to pull your friends away from their studies, you have found another great way to manage stress during finals week. Just talking or going to dinner helps to take your mind off things, and it will help your friends as well. But, if you are unable to get them to take a break, studying with someone is always better than studying alone.

Read a Book

I know your first reaction is to skip this idea and keep reading, but just wait. Grabbing a book you have previously read and know you love, or one that you are interested in, can help your mind take a short vacation. Getting into a good book can make your mind drift away from what is happening in the real world and go to what is happening in the book.

Take a Few Minutes for Fun

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This way offers many options for a way to distract your mind. You could watch a couple of funny YouTube videos, play a game on your phone or watch a short episode on Netflix. Finding the option that works best for you will be beneficial to relieving some stress during finals week.

Remember, taking care of yourself is just as important as studying for and acing those exams. By trying some of these activities I have listed above, you can find a way for your brain to recharge for the times when the stress becomes overwhelming. Good luck and keep pushing! Freedom is right around the corner.

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