Believe it or not, summer break is quickly approaching for our students. However, before the summer vacations begin, kids will be gearing up and preparing for their final exams.
A lot of times, the stress behind finals isn’t the exam itself. It is instead the long hours of studying and paper-writing that can take a real toll.
To do their best, students must make sure to keep themselves healthy in the process.
The best way to feel prepared for final exams is by getting ahead. It’s important to remember that projects and schoolwork often take longer than we expect, so building in more time is imperative.
“The greatest tool is planning and good time management – don’t wait until the last minute,” Aimee Drescher, a clinical psychologist in Toledo market, shares. “It also helps to keep a visual calendar where you can write down when things are due and refer to it daily. This is an excellent way to plan out your time appropriately. Also, having the time to ask questions when directions are unclear or if you need more information can go a long way.”
Finding a regular place where it’s quiet enough to study is a great way to build a routine before finals week. For college students specifically, dorm rooms aren’t always the best place to study because of extra noise. For both college and high school students, working in bed can also lead to negative habits, like falling asleep or getting distracted.
It’s also important to remember that studying for long periods of time can lead to study burnout. So, it’s important to take breaks and schedule downtime.
“It’s good to get up from you chair and stretch every 30 to 45 minutes to give yourself that time to take a few breaths and recalibrate,” Aimee shares. “Identifying pleasant activities to engage in during stressful times as well as effectively managing your time is the optimal way to prevent burn out. Also, scheduling something to look forward to after exams can be a powerful way to prevent burn out.”
Fighting test and presentation anxiety can be tricky, but studying and practicing are the keys to success. When anxious thoughts come, deep breaths and positive thinking can help.
Always be mindful that your teacher wants you to succeed and that no one wants to see you fail.
And parents, giving your child grace during exam week is important. Send care packages if they are in college or, if they are in high school, cook them a favorite dinner or two during finals week.
“Don’t forget the necessities! Eating and sleeping are absolutely imperative to optimizing your performance,” Aimee adds.
Learn more about the mental health services we offer at Mercy Health.