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Spring break is over. The days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer and the much-needed summer break is almost within reach. But even though summer is only a few short weeks away, it’s also crunch time.
So, how are we supposed to get through it? All-nighters in the library? Dangerous intakes of caffeine? Temporary suspension of your social life? Finals season has taken on the mantra of “Go, go, go.” For some, maybe working under unbearable pressure really is the best way to go. But over-stressing and cramming for finals is not as effective as one might think.
When you’re over-stressed and over-fatigued, you are rarely working at your full potential. It’s easy to make small mistakes, zone out, or completely forget what you had just spent the last three hours studying. So maybe the answer to surviving finals is not working yourself to death, but pampering yourself instead.
Being good to yourself is a phenomenally successful way to survive finals season. It’s not a time to deprive yourself, but rather a time to give in to your vices. I’m a coffee lover—as bad as they get. During the regular school year, I do my best to keep my caffeine addiction under control. But once finals roll around, drinking as much coffee as I want is fair game.
Giving in to such vices is a good incentive for studying, too. Instead of forcing yourself to work for endless hours, rewarding yourself for a job well-done is a good way to break up the monotony of studying.
It’s important to remember that there is a life beyond letter grades. College is about obtaining an education, and sometimes you need to look beyond a simple letter grade to really learn something valuable.
One valuable thing that most college students have yet to realize is that it is okay to breathe—even in the weeks leading up to finals. College students do themselves no favors by staying up all night memorizing terms or staying inside on a beautiful Boulder day to write an essay. Some experiences simply can’t be made up, so it certainly doesn’t make sense to waste them by toiling away in the library.
This isn’t to underplay the importance of finals, but it simply doesn’t make sense to work yourself to death over them. Since there will inevitably be stress involved in your finals week, take the time to pamper yourself just a little bit. Be kind to yourself—it’s the best way to be successful during the most stressful time of the year.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Taryne Tosetti at Taryne.firstname.lastname@example.org.