The chaos that is finals season is upon us once again. Unfortunately, while students are trying to enjoy the Christmas season and see all of their friends before they leave for winter break, the stress about where to study, how to study, and how to find time to study sets in. Here are a few tips about how to stay sane during finals season:
1. Find a soothing study spot that will keep you focused and calm.
Naturally, every student has different studying preferences: some people might need dead silence in order to focus, while others might prefer to work in a study group. Luckily for Boston College students, the vast variety of places to study on and around campus allows for every student to find their perfect study niche. The two most popular libraries here at BC, Bapst and O’Neill, offer two very different atmospheres; Bapst is known to be completely silent, while O’Neill is a good place to work if you like some background chatter, or need to work in a group.
There are also other libraries scattered across campus that are not as well known to students, including the social work library in McGuinn and the law libraries on Newton Campus. Because they are more under the radar than Bapst and O’Neill, they are nice, quiet places to go if you like to do your work without feeling the pressure of many other students studying around you. Besides the libraries, many students like to study in the various dining halls around campus, as well as in the study spaces that are in Fulton, Gasson, and Stokes. Additionally, there is no lack of nearby cafes and restaurants where students can study if they want to escape the BC bubble.
2. Make a study schedule.
Being in five classes, most students have multiple finals and multiple papers all due within the next two weeks. With so much to do in such little time, the workload can be very overwhelming for students. Making a study schedule and sticking to it can be very beneficial when you have so much work to do. Planning out when you will do your work for each class is a great way to help you manage your time, and be more productive during these tough weeks.
3. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, and go to bed at a reasonable hour.
Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising is always important, but particularly during periods of your life when you are working hard. A good diet will provide you with the energy and nutrients you need to study productively and do well on your exams. Exercise is also extremely beneficial for the body and mind, as it is known to stimulate brain function. Additionally, it is crucial that during exam season you allow yourself to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. It is easy to get caught up studying all night, but it is better to go to bed, get the right amount of sleep, and continue studying the next morning.
4. Don’t ignore your mental health—give yourself breaks
While schoolwork is important, mental health should always be prioritized. With so much to do it can be hard to find time to give yourself a break, but it isn’t healthy for your body or your mind to be overworked. And being burnt out can actually hurt your academic performance. Give yourself time to destress on your own by doing what you like to do in your free time. Also, make sure you find time to spend with friends to decompress and have some laughs; after all, it is the end of the semester, and you may not see them until January once you leave. Spending quality time with friends is definitely a great way to stay sane during these difficult weeks.
If you find yourself getting too stressed, there are many mental health apps available that could be beneficial. Headspace, Insight Timer, and Smiling Mind are some of the most popular apps to help alleviate stress and anxiety. Boston College’s University Counseling Services also came out with a helpful app called WellTrack, which tracks your mood and attempts to improve your thoughts and behaviors. If you are feeling stressed, trying some of these apps is definitely worth a try.
While finals season can be demanding, stressful, and tiring, it is important to remember that there are a lot of beneficial routines that you can follow to keep yourself sane.