Relax, it’s finals week!

If you are a college student, you’re most likely gearing up for finals week. While this is no doubt a stressful time, there are things you can do before and during finals to increase your productivity and avoid burnout.

One of the most important things you can do is take care of yourself physically and mentally. This includes not skipping meals, getting plenty of sleep, practicing positive self-talk, and focusing on little wins. Remember, you can’t perform at your best at exam time if you are running low on steam and positivity.

Another important way students can cope with any stressful situation, including exams, is to make time for some sort of physical activity. We know exercise is good for us, but it can be especially helpful during times of stress. So, go for a walk (there are some pretty great walking trails on campus), go for a run, go to the Student Activity Center or a local gym. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle everything on your to-do list.

The importance of exercise during times of stress is something Davenport marketing major Hannah Mayle understands, especially this time of year.

“During exam week, I like to work out with the Barbell Babes, a group of female students who meet on campus twice a week to work out,” said Mayle. “Having people to work out with helps me carve out time during busy finals week to focus on myself.”

Mayle said female students interested in joining the Barbell Babes should visit the student life events calendar for more information.

Another great tip for making it through finals week is to take frequent study breaks. Stepping away from your laptop or books for even a few minutes every hour can really help you recharge. Listening to music, playing a favorite video game or reading a book are great options. If possible, step outside to get some fresh air and soak up the sunshine.

Bianka Batagelj, a legal studies major, said having a healthy balance prior to finals week in all areas of her life, including relationships, work, health and fitness, and school, is key.

“Preparing for finals week can be overwhelming, but I have found that establishing a solid study schedule well in advance helps me stay organized and reduces added or last-minute stress,” said Batagelj. “I also believe in taking breaks to engage in activities I enjoy, such as going for a walk, practicing mindfulness or spending time with friends and family. This helps me maintain a healthy balance and avoid burnout during this intense period.”

The Center for Campus Life has several Stressbuster events planned for the week of April 15, including massages, late-night breakfast, a petting zoo and an opportunity to pet therapy dogs. Students can even test their aim by throwing a pie at a professor or a coach. The “Last Bash” on April 19 is an event not to be missed. Students will enjoy a variety of activities, including a bonfire, paintball, basketball, volleyball, yard games, music and dancing. For more information on these events, check out the student life events calendar.

When it comes to studying for exams, students should try to avoid procrastinating as much as possible. Putting studying off only makes things worse in the long run. It’s always a good idea to make a to-do list and check things off as you finish each item. This will keep you focused and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Joe Bishop, executive director of campus life, suggests students pick a designated study area other than their bedroom as a way to increase productivity.

“It’s a good idea to use your bedroom as a place to rest and recharge,” said Bishop. “Great study locations include the College of Business, the Center for Learning Excellence or the Student Center.”

Davenport’s veteran students are encouraged to take advantage of designated student-veteran spaces on campus. They are a great place to study and connect with other veterans. For more information on these and other veteran-related services. Click here.

Students who need a little extra academic support during finals week or any other time during the school year are encouraged to take advantage of Davenport’s 24/7 online tutoring service. Sessions are free and can be accessed immediately or scheduled in advance. For more information or to schedule a session, click here.

Darrin Oliver, lead counselor at the Wellness Center, wants students to understand that exam time is stressful and that experiencing some test anxiety is normal.

“It may take some practice, but relaxing or breathing techniques can really help before and during an exam,” said Oliver. “If you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, make sure to talk to someone, like friends or family, or schedule an appt with the Wellness Center to talk. You’re not going through this experience alone. Support is available.”

Good luck with exams! They will be over before you know it!


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