Top 10 Tips for Surviving Finals Week!

By Megan Delano on December 10, 2020

Although finals week is typically the most stressful time of a semester, it doesn’t have to be so taxing on your mental and physical health! It is often hard to remember the basics of self-care when feeling stressed. Below are some tips to find the balance between productivity and managing stress in healthy and effective ways. It is also important to remember that not all tips and tricks work for everyone but finding what works for you and sticking to it can make a big difference in your success during this stressful time!


1. Stick with routines - Routines are an important part of managing mental and physical health throughout the year; not only during finals time. Sticking to routines help you utilize your time effectively and prevents you from spending too much time studying and not enough on taking care of other necessary tasks.

2. Get organized - Organization looks different for everyone. This may look like creating to-do lists, organizing your physical space, prioritizing tasks, or setting reminders to take breaks throughout your study sessions. Organization promotes productivity and prevents more procrastinating tendencies.

3. Set up self-care schedule - Self-care is often the first thing to fall to the bottom of the priority list when we are stressed, although it is the most important thing to remember. Self-care is not only for your mental health but also for your physical. This also looks different for everyone and there is no one right answer. 

4. Listen to your body - Don’t push yourself too hard! Listen to what your body needs whether it is to drink more water, stretch, or take a break to eat. Your body needs attention just as much as your textbooks do. 

5. Sleep - Practicing good sleep routines are essential to staying productive and focused. Try to leave time before bed that is not consumed with studying (stop studying 30-40 minutes before you're ready for bed). Give yourself a break to reset before getting into bed so that you are not starting your night of sleep off with stress or anxiety. 

6. Schedule enjoyable activities - The entire week does not have to be dedicated to studying! You have spent an entire semester learning material and don’t have to feel irresponsible when taking time to chat with a friend or go for a bike ride. 

7. Get outside (or any change of scenery) - Your brain will benefit from taking a break for a change of scenery. Whether that means going for a walk, stepping outside for a few breaths of fresh air, or even spending time in a different room away from your computer. 

8. Get peer or colleague support – You don’t have to be alone in your stress and anxiety. It may be helpful to check in with peers or classmates on their study tips and what helps them manage through finals week. 

9. Don’t over study! - Your brain can only take on so much new information. Cramming all night before an exam has actually proven to have more negative effects than positive. Give yourself some reassurance that you have already taken in a ton of info all semester and can focus this time to take care of yourself in order to perform better on the day of the exam.

10. Remember that this is all temporary stress – Although finals can bring on an immense about of pressure, it is also temporary and does not need to have a huge impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing.