Friday, March 31, 2023

My mantra to get through finals week

MosaicCampus LifeMy mantra to get through finals week

Staff Reporter

With examinations and final submissions upon us, it feels like an incessant brain fog is taking over my headspace. Time is slyly ticking away and every fiber of my being tells me to prioritize tasks according to the upcoming deadlines. With loads of assignments and project work stacked in my calendar, it feels as if I’m holding a huge pile of books trying to climb my way up a flight of stairs. 

Sometimes, as procrastinating students, we scroll through our social media feeds aimlessly consuming information that we do not need. In the name of taking a ‘break,’ we absorb content that comes our way with no filter, and that sinks deep into the recesses of our brains without our conscious approval. 

This feeling is similar to how students may feel when we log into our student accounts and fail to wrap our heads around challenging deadlines and ever-piling assignments. As university students, it is expected of us to be on our toes at all times; attending professional development events or maintaining our calm, all while juggling between tasks like maintaining personal finances and keeping up with our health. 

Although university life is like a simulation of the adult life that is ahead of us, it can sometimes be overwhelming. It weighs on us heavily when our mental health breaks do not align with the yearly academic schedules provided by the university. Everyone should be able to develop their own coping mechanisms that suit their individual needs and preferences. This would help decrease burnout among university students.

Here are a few personalized ways which help me keep up with my cumbersome schedule to avoid over-exhaustion:

  1. Limit my screen time when scrolling through my feed. I also add a few selective accounts I like to scroll through when I’m taking a short break to help me filter through the negative content and instead surround myself with feel-good content. 
  2. Listen to calming music to build my concentration and avoid noise. This is a habit that has helped me sit for long stretches of time. It also causes less fatigue post-work. 
  3. Putting my phone on silent mode and at an arm’s length away while studying helps avoid unnecessary distractions. 
  4. Going for a walk and spending some time in nature, even if it is just for a few minutes. My recommended time limit would be at least 20 to 30 minutes per day. It helps me get out of my gloom and instantly rejuvenates my mood.
  5. Make a to-do list that’s realistic and achievable. It has a maximum of about three or five tasks for the whole day. I break down each task into further steps as per my need to ensure that it doesn’t seem like a mountain of work. But it more so resembles a flight of stairs that I can climb up one step at a time.
  6. Reward myself with a break every hour and do light stretches to avoid any tiredness. I especially recommend it for people who struggle with prolonged sitting, like me. 
  7. My meal preparation is simple, pre-planned and healthy. It is not elaborate. I highly emphasize cooking simple meals that are light and keep one active. I suggest switching to healthier alternatives when it comes to snacking. 
  8. Always keep a bottle of water at my desk. Staying hydrated helps me avoid overeating and ensures that I stay healthy by the end of finals week. 

It is important to remember that no matter how much you plan ahead of time, make room for mistakes, too. Keep a buffer time for your tasks so that you can handle the day of submissions. Being flexible with your schedule helps you breeze through such a busy week. 

Although these steps sound cliche, keeping it basic is the way to go. I wish you all the best and a happy finals week!




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