Stress Less for Finals | Noah Gaines

Stress Less for Finals

by Noah Gaines

It’s late October, the weather’s getting cooler, the leaves are turning colors, and fall is in the air. At our school, fall also means that you have to take that gut-wrenching test that can make or break your borderline grade in a class. Whether your grade is safe enough that the final has no effect, or you're dangling and quietly freaking out about it, you need to calm down.

Due to the competitive atmosphere at CCA, many students tend to over-study and forget about everything else in the world. Yes, your final is important, and with that comes a lot of pressure and stress to succeed; but in getting the necessary grade to keep or achieve the letter you seek, you need to remember that you’re capable of many things and you can do it. Relax, and give yourself some time to vent and do your own thing.

You need to dedicate time to escape your study session—because you need it. A person cannot sit at a desk for hours or even days at a time and just scan the notes they've taken all term. A person cannot glue themselves to a computer screen and binge-watch Khan Academy or Crash Course, expecting the material to stick. You need to give yourself a designated time to vent and destress. I know how crazy it is to hear this, where self-pressure or peer-pressure can override this concept, but this will help you later during your exam.

There are multiple ways to do this. The most important thing to do is to get into a routine and keep it. A routine could be for every hour you study, you give yourself a 5 or 10 minute break to spend time with your family and friends. This routine creates a balance between your study time and your mental health. No, you should not build up your time and use up your break all at once. For example, if a student studies for four hours, they have earned at least 20-40 minutes of cumulative break time based off the time interval they go by. You shouldn’t study for four hours and use all of the 20-40 minutes at the end; use 5-10 minutes per hour to relax and destress because if you unload all at once, your brain isn’t fully able to relax and take a break.

I understand that your finals are more-or-less your first priority, but in order to keep your sanity while studying and concentrate during the actual exam, a simple routine can make all the difference.