Five ways to prevent end-of-semester jitters

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The final weeks of the semester tend to become very stressful for students.

Tania Ortiz, Editor-in-Chief

As we enter the final weeks of the semester, anxiety and stress tend to make their regular appearances in college students nationwide. Fear of missing assignments, balancing a proper school-work-life balance and making sure to catch some sleep becomes the only priorities.

Every college student experiences end-of-semester stress differently. As a fifth-year student, managing my end-of-semester stress has been a trial-and-error process. Luckily, heading into the final stretch of this semester, I have picked up some strategies to ease the stress and finish off the semester strong.

Here are some tips that may be helpful to students as we enter the final third of the semester:

1. Plan/work on assignments in increments:

Students have probably heard that time management is a key to preventing stress and staying on top of your work. And while that is true, planning out and working on assignments in increments helps ease the amount of work.

Especially if you are writing 17-page papers for your finals, I find planning to accomplish certain parts of assignments to be the biggest stress reliever. This is an excellent strategy because you can focus on fine-tuning each section each day you work on it.

Make sure to set achievable progress thresholds for each day!

2. Develop a self-care routine:

Students should carve time out of their days to care for themselves. Studying and writing papers should not be the way one spends their day because it is not fun. Treat yourself to a nice bath, put on a face mask, binge watch your favorite show. It’s all about doing something that makes you happy and takes your mind off the papers you are writing, even if it is for a few hours.

3. Take breaks in between studying:

Setting up times to take a break between studying will help once finals season is in full swing. Taking breaks helps give your mind for 15-minutes. A good rule to follow is for every 40 minutes of studying or writing; you should take a break to clear your mind.

4. Keep a positive mindset:

The end of the semester tends to bring out negative mindsets in all of us due to assignments piling up or lack of sleep. Keeping a positive attitude will give you a chance to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

A shift in perspective helps us better handle stress because we can get carried away at times. A way to get out of that frantic mindset is by practicing shutting out the out-of-control panic, examining the reality of your situation. Saying positive phrases is always a great way to prevent getting in a panicked and stressful mindset.

5. Listen to music:

At least for me, listening to music always relieves my stress and makes writing out papers and studying for exams less boring. Create a playlist with music from your favorite artists to keep you motivated. Having some background noise will help you stay focused and ease those end-of-semester jitters.

Hopefully, you find one—if not all—of these tips helpful as we embark on the home stretch. Remember to take breaks and stay positive and finish out the semester strong!

The Cougar Chronicle: The independent student news site of California State University, San Marcos