Don’t stress: 6 tips for getting through finals week

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Caroline Straubel, Contributing Writer

Finals are hard enough without the added stress of online classes, no pass/fail option and a global pandemic. For students in need of support while studying for finals, here are a few helpful tips.

Establish a study schedule

If you have online finals that will be taken from home, having a schedule of when and for how long you should study can help you maintain a routine over break. Setting aside an hour or two per day to study is an effective way to prepare for an exam, without having to cram the night before.


Getting enough sleep before an exam is important, sleep is usually the first thing college kids sacrifice to get a better score on a test. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, students who stay up all night to study are more likely to have a lower GPA than their fellow students who do not do so. Their website provides a list of ways to fall asleep and how to establish a healthy sleep schedule in college.


Making time to workout can significantly improve cognitive functions and help you focus on the work you are doing. Workouts can release stress, and consistently working out provides an outlet to release anxiety. The Campus Recreation Center is offering virtual group workouts over finals week.


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Stress Management

The UNCW Counseling Center has an online workshop series about how to form a healthy habits relating to stress. There are six parts to the workshop and the sixth video lecture focuses on the importance of establishing healthy ways of managing stress and creating a wellness vision. This video and the rest of the videos in the lecture series can be found on the UNCW Counseling Center’s website.


If you are prone to losing focus when you should be focusing on studying and find yourself getting anxious, because you cannot focus, the 5-4-3-2-1 Grounding technique may be helpful. This technique asks you to notice: five things you see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you smell and one thing you taste. This can be performed on your own, or with the help of a guided version. The guided versions are about five minutes long.


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Take a Break

You cannot study all day. When you feel yourself needing a break and missing Wilmington, the Wrightsville Beach Webcam is here to help. The webcam provides a live look at the waves, surf conditions and weather with a view from Oceanic Restaurant. The website offers beach views from other locations along the east coast, if you want to go a quick site seeing tour.