How to combat stress before finals

Mackenzie Zent, Opinion editor

Every student has felt the overwhelming feeling of stress at some point this semester, but the end of the semester it is an elevated version of that. The stress that accompanies the closing of a semester is heightened because it is more jam packed with assignments, assessments and high expectations. There are so many loose ends to tie up, and preparation for final exams are icing on the cake for the bundle of stress in a college student. All these factors yield an important question for students, how do we handle the end of the semester stress?Odds are we have heard this advice before: eating well, sleep a solid 6-8 hours per night, study a week out from your exam to maximize the retention of information and exercise to minimize stress levels. But how do we make time for all of this while preparing for major, grade-determining exams?One answer is to make the most of all your time. Set your priorities so that your health is first on the list. Ensuring you are healthy will allow you to have the energy to perform all of the necessary tasks needed to finish out the semester successfully. One method of studying I have been trying recently is to set a timer for 40 minutes and work on one subject for that time period and do nothing else— no phones, no distractions. After those 40 minutes, I take a small break then get right back into it. When I pull this off, I am more productive and consequently less stressed. It can be difficult to do this at times, but when you fully immerse yourself in the process you are more that capable of grinding out some solid work.Another amazing way to manage the end of the semester stress is through movement or exercise. This is an excellent stress reducer because there are so many ways to go about it.Exercise does not just mean going to the rec center and pumping some weights. Exercise could be playing a game of basketball or volleyball with your friends. Or it could be something as simple as going for a walk. Finding a way to move our bodies is so important for a host of health reasons but it also gives a refreshing feeling that is much needed while studying.Getting a good nights rest is definitely a tough one. We are college students, which means it is no secret that we have so much running through our heads each day. When we finally lay down it is difficult to calm down enough to fall asleep.One thing that could help with relaxing to get enough sleep is planning out your day the night before. Ensure that you make the time to study, exercise, get other homework done and all of the other everyday tasks that need to get done. This can help you stay on track and eliminate other outside worries.Being able to get into bed and know that you have been productive that day absolutely puts your mind at ease and allows your brain to wind down.All of these habits are great to incorporate into your daily routine, but the most important factor to keep in mind is starting n ow. Make time to go on a walk today, even if it’s only ten minutes, or go over notes that you took in a class. Do something challenging today that will make tomorrow less stress-filled. These final weeks of the semester are difficult for sure, nonetheless we are all capable of doing the work. At the end of it all, we get to celebrate the holidays and get an entire month off from schoolwork.