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5 Tips for Beating Finals Stress and Acing School

A photo of students sitting at a table, with books and papers laid out before them. They are studying.

The gigantic number of students in Kennedy Library can only mean one thing: it’s finals week! Every seat is full and the lines at Julian’s have never been longer.

With end-of-year finals here, that means Cal Poly students are currently facing their most stressful week ever (and just when you thought dead week was the worst).

But we’re here too help! Don’t let finals stress you out. I’ve compiled my top 5 tips for beating the stress and acing your exams.

5. Organize.

When I’m facing a mountain of homework assignments and finals to cram for, it helps to organize my study space and schedule. Prioritize and work out how much time you can spend studying for each exam. Make sure your study space is uncluttered and it will help you clear your head too.

A gif of a panda knocking papers and a computer off a desk.

Just maybe try to be gentler than Panda when you declutter. Gif from Tumblr.

4. Get Some Exercise.

Exercise releases endorphins, helps get your blood pumping, and oxygen flowing to your brain. It’s also a great study break. Go for a run or spend a half hour in the Rec Center before returning to the books feeling energized and motivated.

A gif of Brad Pitt in workout clothes with headphones in dancing.

De-stressed and ready to rock. Gif from Gizmodo.

3. Turn off Facebook.

And Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Anything else that might distract you.

A gif of a woman touching a man's hand as he types on a smart phone. She is saying,

I know it’s hard. Gif from ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com

I’m serious. I’ve never gotten so much written as when the Internet connection was down at my house. And, while I’m not suggesting you turn of your Internet connection (you might need it to study) I am suggesting you declare a personal moratorium on non-study-related electronics, at least for a few hours. Without distractions, studying is so much easier.

2. Eat brain food.

A cartoon gif of a tomato running away from zombie spoiled food.

This isn’t what I meant. Gif from this-is-a-zombie-blog.tumblr.com

Not brains, brain food. Get full, healthy meals and snack on fruits and veggies. It may seem better to eat junk food because it’s quick, but taking the time out to fix yourself a salad or sandwich really pays off.

1. Get some sleep.

Those all-nighters? Not a good idea. When you’re too sleep-deprived your brain functions much the same way it does when it’s drunk. Getting a healthy night’s sleep ensures that your brain is rested and refreshed, and that your powers of memory and critical thinking will be in tip-top shape for the test!

A gif of Tina Fey saying,

You said it, Tina. Gif from Tumblr.

Don’t think about finals, don’t think about school. Just shut your eyes and dream about summer. You’re almost there.

Good luck!

More of Vicki’s GIF storytelling: top seven best/worst things about graduating.