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Finish Strong: Words Of Encouragement Before Finals Week

It’s that time of year again, folks. ~Finals season~ is officially upon us.

The air is cooler, fall sports are winding down, and winter break is in sight. The thought of staying on campus any longer for finals may be miserable, but you’re almost there.

The feeling of hopelessness and tiredness can cloud finals week, and it can seem extremely difficult to get through it at times. It might feel like an impossible mountain to climb — a mountain with last-minute assignments, SRTEs, and absurdly early or late finals.

They may seem impossible now, but we promise you will get through it. Study hard now, try your best, and at the end of the day, that’s all you can do. Remind yourself to take breaks and practice self-care during the upcoming week. Exams are important, but without self-care, you won’t be able to study productively and achieve the grade you want. It’s OK to take breaks and do something fun in between study sessions. Letting yourself relax and breathe for a while will motivate you to study harder.

Here are a few suggestions for how to finish strong this semester:

  • Take time when you need it. Even if it’s just a 10-minute break, looking away from your notes and laptop can make a world of a difference. This break can include anything. Read your favorite book, catch up with your roommates, or even take a quick power nap (just remember to set an alarm beforehand).
  • Reward yourself with a coffee or snack for every milestone. After you complete a difficult problem set or finish watching all of those recorded lectures you missed, reward yourself with a winter beverage from Starbucks or your favorite candy. After you finish studying, order your favorite takeout from your favorite restaurant downtown. For every day you study, try mixing it up a bit by eating your favorite foods.
  • Study where you study best. The library and the HUB aren’t the only places to study on campus. Study at the buildings that correlate to what you’re studying. Being in an environment with others who are studying the same subject as you can be highly encouraging. Try reaching out to others studying and making some friends! If all else fails, the glass hallway in Chambers is always a nice study space.
  • Get some fresh air. Even if you spend your time in the Pattee Stacks and don’t get to see much sun, taking a walk outside can do wonders. A few minutes in the cold can clear your mind and make sure you’re ready to get back to work. Listen to your favorite songs while you take a lap around Pollock Commons.
  • Talk to loved ones and friends. Your friends and family are here for you. If you feel like you don’t have the time to reach out, call your mom while you’re walking to and from places. She’ll appreciate hearing how you’re doing.
  • Take time to do something fun after studying. It’s important during finals week to do things you love to keep yourself motivated. Start rewatching your favorite show on Netflix or start playing that video game you’ve been dying to start. Listen to your favorite musical artists and have a dance party with your roommates or by yourself. Go to the Creamery and get a bowl of Death by Chocolate. Getting away from studying when you need it is just as important.
  • On the days of your finals, dress for success. Pull out that suit or pantsuit you have for the Career Fair. Or, wear your favorite outfit to your exam. Put on some makeup or do your hair. Looking like you’ve got your life together will make you feel like you’ve got your life together.
  • Sleep is important. It may be tempting to pull an all-nighter for that CHEM 110 final, but that may cause you to fall asleep during your exam, which is exactly what you don’t want to happen. In order to perform well on your exams and study effectively, having a full night’s rest is vital.
  • Reach out for help if you need it. Penn State offers many services for students who may just need someone to talk to. Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available for all Penn State students who are in need with drop-in visits and calls. For emergency situations, use the Penn State Crisis Line: 1-877-229-6400.

With these strategies in mind, you can finish off the semester strong. Above all else, your mental and physical well-being matters the most. The semester is almost over and the end is in sight. You did it! One more week, folks.

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About the Author

Gracie Mullan

Gracie is a junior from Delaware County, Pa, studying telecommunications with a minor in English. In her free time, Gracie likes to play with her cat, Luna, and video games on her PS5. She loves to read and write, of course, and enjoys the ice cream sandwiches from Trader Joe's a little too much. Get in touch with Gracie on her Instagram @gracemullan_ and for more formal inquiries [email protected]

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