When it isn’t all Super-Duper

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Let’s be honest, this is the worst time of the year for college students. Christmas is right around the corner, but we can’t even think about that.

There’s too many papers to write. Too many projects to finish. Too many flashcards to study.This is my last week of normal classes and the struggle is real. You’d think as a senior, this would be old hat.

…nope. All I want to do is crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and ignore my to-do list.

And on top of it all, everyone and their mother (yes, their mother) want to have Christmas-Holiday-Winter-End-of-the-Year parties and you’re supposed to go to all of them.

Um…. no. 

The stress of finals can really grind on our emotional and physical wellbeing. Especially for those of us who identify as introverts. I have this note taped to my bathroom mirror to remind me to take care of myself:

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I’m not very good at remembering to do everything on the list, but seeing it all written out like that helps. I like to put things on my bathroom mirror. Little reminders that everything is going to be ok. Sometimes it’s bright fluorescent notes to make sure I don’t forget something. Sometimes it’s photos of happy memories.

These are some of my favorite things to do during finals to just take some time to breathe:

  1. Free Music Streaming
    As frustrating as those ads are when you’re listening to Spotify or Pandora (I’m sorry, but you’ve thrown off the Emperor’s groove.), take those 30-60 seconds to look away from whatever you’re studying. Stop reading. Stop writing. Stop drawing. Walk around your table at the library. Bend down and touch your toes. Shake it off. Give your mind a quick break… and then get back to work.
  2. Make a Cuppa
    Stop. Don’t bring your work with you. Go into the kitchen. Heat up some water and make yourself something delicious to drink. Tea. Hot Chocolate. Lemon Water. …coffee. But for those precious minutes that it takes to heat up the water, turn off the lights in the kitchen and just sit. Close your eyes. Breathe. You’ll hear the microwave/tea kettle/Keurig/Mr. Coffee stop when it’s done.
  3. Bake Something
    Depending on your multi-tasking skills, this turns into Procrasti-baking… with a delicious reward at the end. But bring your notes into the kitchen and you can read in between scooping cookies.
  4. Paint Your Nails
    Ok, so this one really has no room for studying. Someone once commented on my newly painted nails saying, “Oh, I just never have the time.” That’s just it. Of course we don’t. Painting your nails takes some serious time. But that’s the point. When I paint my nails, that’s a solid 1.5-2 hours that I choose to set aside and not study. Yes, I could nap in that time, but I struggle with waking up from naps. So instead, I can paint my nails. I’ll watch a movie or some Netflix and just indulge in some time to focus on something a bit mindless. (Currently I’m wearing Essie’s Smokin’ Hot)
  5. Eat a solid meal.
    Guys. You can’t study well eating whatever the library sells in the vending machines or constantly ordering takeout. If you really can’t cook something for yourself, try ordering soup from Panera. Order online and it’s ready to pick up when you get there. Plus, you get a bit of a break just because you have to drive there. My favorite quick meals: an egg and toast, oatmeal with peanut butter and bananas, or yogurt and granola.

Take time to pause. Set goals each day for what you need to accomplish. You can make it through.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

I think this will be the next thing to get posted on my bathroom mirror. A bit of grace graffiti.

Right now I’m taking time to breath by writing this post in the light of many fairy lights. What kind of things do you like to do to take a break from finals? What tips do you have for surviving them?

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