Finals are here: Don’t freak out


Finals are right around the corner. Here’s some advice on how to survive the last week of the semester. (Graphic by Maliah White)

Tegan Ruhl, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

The Fall 2022 semester is coming to a close. Finals are officially in a week, and classes are coming to an end. The last week before finals is supposed to be filled with a lot of stress and studying, but I don’t believe that has to be the case. In the past semesters I’ve been here at USI, I’ve found a lot of healthy ways to cope with the most stressful time of the semester. Here’s a few things I’ve picked up over the past year. 

Don’t burn yourself out from studying. Take a break! 

It’s good to study a lot during finals week, but don’t study so much to the point where you can’t study anymore. Burnout will only lead to more stress and exhaustion. If you feel like taking a break, take a break. If you’re tired, get away from your screen and take a nap. If you’re frustrated, close your laptop and watch your comfort show. If you haven’t moved in a while, go take a short walk or even move to a different location for your study time. Don’t force yourself to study if you really don’t feel like it. Ease into it instead. Returning to something with a fresh mind will help you be more productive instead of beating your brain to death with the same frustrating details. 


Eating is important. Do not neglect proper nutrition during finals week. Food helps you function, so make time to eat. Have plenty of snacks around while you’re studying, and drink lots of water. Try not to consume so much caffeine because too much can increase your anxiety. Keep yourself from being hungry, and you’ll have one less thing to worry about.

Get plenty of sleep.

Sleep is also important. Do not feel like you have to pull an all-nighter every night. Sleep helps you function, and you won’t be very productive without it. Try for at least 7-8 hours a night. Get adequate sleep! 

Check on your friends.

I’m sure your friends are struggling this finals week too. Check on them! Let them know they’re loved. See if you can help them out in any way, and don’t be afraid to ask for help yourself. Also, do something fun together. Hang out on campus. Go to Denny’s at 12 in the morning. Have a group study session. Cry together. Whatever you feel comfortable with! Social interaction makes things easier, so don’t isolate yourself. Talk to people!

Plan your week.

What’s helped me immensely this semester is planning out my week. For finals week, I write down everything I need to do each day in a planner and try to stick to it. If you don’t consider yourself to be an organized person, now’s the time to become one. Write down everything you need to do and do it. I recommend making a to-do list on a sticky note and placing it on your keyboard so you see it every time you open your laptop. 

Chew gum while you study.

My fifth grade teacher told me that if you chew gum while you’re studying and chew the same type of gum while taking a test, it improves your memory. Psychology Today also notes that chewing gum improves memory, concentration, sustained attention and reduces stress. Gum is not the end-all be-all to studying, but if you’re feeling experimental, it’s worth a shot. 

Be aware of your campus resources. 

The university is not here to destroy you during finals week, but to help you. Here are four hings you should about this week. 

1. Self-Care Bingo. 

Stop by the Fireside Lounge this Wednesday for Housing and Residence Life’s self-care bingo at 5 p.m. Cookies, hot chocolate and prizes are available. Stop by this week to remind yourself to take a deep breath before finals! 

2. The Jazz Lounge is open 24/7 this week. 

 Need a place to study during late hours of the night? The Jazz Lounge has you covered. It’s always a great place to meet with friends for a late night study session. But remember, don’t overwork yourself!

3. Late night Breakfast and Magic Holiday Village.

Free food! Who can say no to that? Take a break, grab your friends and enjoy a free meal in The Loft on Thursday from 8-11 p.m. HRL will provide various breakfast foods, such as pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, pastries and cereal. HRL also encourages students to donate $1 to Archie’s Closet or bring paper towels, toilet paper or a box of tissues to the event. I recommend arriving early because the line starts to pile up fast! Additionally, the Activities Planning Board will be hosting Magic Holiday Village in Carter Hall from 8-11 p.m. This event includes inflatables, holiday carnival games, novelties and even a snow machine. Take advantage of these events! They’re both great opportunities for a break this week. 

4. Paws & Play Dec. 8. 

If you’re a dog lover, head up to the second-floor Reading Room in the David L. Rice Library this Thursday to pet some pups. From 4-6, the Rice Library and RFWC are providing students an opportunity to relax with some therapy dogs before finals. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Pet a dog! It’ll make you feel better. Free stress-management resources will also be available at the event. 

Remember this week will be over soon.

I know this week may feel like torture, but remember that it’s only temporary. One day, you’ll never have to take a final exam, write a final paper or create a final project ever again. The payoff will be worth it, and then you can enjoy your Christmas break! Getting there is the hardest part. When you feel like you can’t make it, remember that in a week or two, you won’t have to worry about this anymore. You’ve got this. Finish strong, Screagles! I know you can do it!