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Finals Survival Guide: 5 Study Tips From a Student

Final exams are soon approaching, and along with them comes a plentiful amount of stress. As a student myself, I understand the overwhelming feeling of drowning in schoolwork and anxiety during finals season. The high expectations placed on students during finals can sometimes feel all-consuming; however, it is important to remember that they are not your whole life!

Here are some tips and tricks to ace your finals while practicing self-care.

1. Create a study schedule

The first thing that I always do when studying is create a study schedule. Write down how long you are going to study for each day, making sure that the time chunks are realistic and manageable. Don't forget to schedule in time for breaks and free time, too! Try your best to stick to this schedule; however, this is simply a guideline and can be adjusted accordingly.

2. Find a good study environment and stay organized

Finding somewhere that you can focus and somewhere where you are comfortable will make studying so much easier. Coffee shops and the library are great spots, or if it is nice out, try grabbing a blanket and setting up outside in the sunshine! When deciding where to study, try your best to separate your study spaces from your resting spaces. You don’t want to associate the places where you should be able to get some rest with the stresses of studying. Once you have found your spot, make sure you have all your study materials ready to go (including some snacks and water)!

3. Keep a balanced lifestyle

Remember, exams are not your whole life! Taking care of your physical health is essential to keeping a healthy mind. Make sure you are taking time to rest, eat, and do other activities you enjoy to give your brain a break. Take a walk between sets of flashcards or make your favourite meal for dinner after wrapping up your studying for the day.

4. Ask for help / Seek support

Your teachers and peers want you to succeed, so ask them for help! Some teachers will schedule extra time for review or question sessions, find the resources that are available to you and use them to your advantage. It is also important to seek support if you find yourself mentally struggling. The pressure and workload of exams can get to be overwhelming, so talk to your friends, family, teachers, counsellors, or someone else you feel comfortable with. Sometimes just having a listening ear can make all the difference.

5. Have self-compassion

Above all, remember to be kind to yourself throughout the process! Make sure that you are acknowledging the efforts that you are putting in and not beating yourself up about any shortcomings or mistakes. Even the small stuff deserves recognition. Treat yourself how you would treat a friend or classmate in need. Remember that you are doing your best and that once the test is done, your job is done, so you can take a few deep breaths, pat yourself on the back and continue on with your head held high.

Navigating finals can sometimes feel like a bit of a whirlwind. By dedicating yourself to some study and self-care techniques, you can get through the upcoming finals season in good health and with confidence. You got this!

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