The Westfield Voice

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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

Finals During a Pandemic; It Doesn’t Have to be that Scary


Find a good study spot

This may be difficult for some, with every member of the household being home and all. But try and find a quiet and separate area of your home where to hit the books. If you have parents, siblings, or roommates that feel the need to constantly interrupt you, be sure to sit down with them and tell them you are going to need these next few weeks to be interruption free. 

Get organized

So simple, yet so important. During this time, your mind must be flooded with many thoughts of projects you should, need, or want to get done. Pull out some paper and write down every task on your mind. You could even try and prioritize the list. 

On the topic of organization, make sure you double check your exam times and take advantage of the end-of-semester planning calendar that was sent out to all students. As you schedule out when you are going to study and take breaks (yes, you need breaks), schedule even the smallest tasks, like when to eat or give yourself designated social media time.

Create a virtual study group

Even though we may be apart off campus, technology brings us together. When you are scheduling study time, reach out to some friends and see if they want to make it a virtual study date. Talking with friends and bonding over stress or confusion on exam material will lift your mood during this tough time.

Take care of your mind, body, and soul

You may not think you are putting yourself through the ringer from just sitting and reading over your notes, but it does take a toll on your body. Make sure to stay hydrated, well fed, and well rested. Chances are you’ll develop a stress headache at some point during finals. Don’t add a hydration, hunger, or exhaustion headache on top of everything. 

During your breaks, try to leave your study environment and shake off that energy. Personally, I’ve never been a workout person myself, but for those who enjoy it, do some jumping jacks or burpees. For those who are like me, dance it out! It’s my favorite way to release energy and get my heart rate up. Getting active can also release some endorphins, which will further relieve the stress.

Maybe you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum, and would benefit from lowering your heart rate a little. If that’s the case try guided meditation, or guided tap meditation to release anxiety. Practicing breathing exercises can be very beneficial as well.

One breathing technique I find especially helpful is breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, breathe out for four counts and hold for four counts. Yoga or simple stretches are another popular relaxation approach. 

Take some pressure off of yourself

I know, its easier said than done. Everyone wants that 100 percent or that “A” but let’s not forget this has been an exceptionally weird and difficult semester. If you happened to struggle this year with grades, concentration, or organization that’s OKAY and totally normal. If you put pressure on yourself to get a perfect score, you will end up putting yourself under more stress than you need to. Remember to simply do your best. 

Finals week can be stressful in itself. Finals week in the midst of a pandemic? Even more stressful. With these tips, finals fear doesn’t have to take over your world.

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