There are two types of students during the final year: those that start to relax, since the worst of college has passed – or those that are freaking out because it’s all about to end.
Granted, the final year has all the exams that will pretty much decide the rest of your year. You’ll have to get the perfect GPA, you’ll need to write your dissertation, practice your speech if you end up valedictorian – and it’s one big rollercoaster that sets your heart into panic mode.
Still, there are some ways for you to manage that stress. This way, you won’t end up losing it right before you cross the finish line.
“I don’t have to do this today. The project is only due in May.” Well, news flash: it’s already May, and you’ve been freaking out for three weeks now. But like the true student that you are, instead of getting on the task, you started stressing about all the stress that you are going through.
To avoid this awkward scenario, you might want to keep a calendar of your progress. Start as early as possible – and stick to it. Say that you have a 30-page paper due in two months; if you write a page every day starting now, not only will you finish early, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the silent screams of your classmates as you are relaxing.
It’s evil, indeed – but boy, does it feel good.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is crucial, as lack of sleep has a serious impact on the mental health. If you don’t sleep enough, your body will start releasing cortisol, which is the stress hormone. This hormone will make you feel more tired, anxious – and otherwise feel like you were just hit by a train.
Make sure that you get at least 7 hours of sleep per day. The average body of a young adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep – so make sure not to pull too many all-nighters in a row. This lack of sleep may also cause your cognitive process to dumb down.
Even if you are in your final year, this does not mean that you should cram everything without leaving time for yourself. This is, in fact, the perfect recipe for a mental breakdown. In order for your mental health to stay, well, healthy, then you need to take a “brain break” every now and again.
For example, make Saturday evening a day where you go out for a drink with your friends. Or go to the movies every other day, to take the edge off. By the time you get back to work, you’ll feel much more motivated to get things done.
People always underestimate the positive effects of exercise, but it’s actually a golden well for your final year stress. Not only does exercising improve blood flow to the brain (improving your cognitive functions), but it also releases endorphins – which is pretty much known as the “feel good” hormone.
You may say that you don’t have time, but believe it or not, you only need around 20 minutes of exercising in order to reap the benefits. By the time you return to your studies, you’ll notice that your ability to study is much sharper.
If you are feeling very stressed, there’s no shame in talking with a counselor. Every university should have one on the premises – or should at least be able to recommend you one. Just talking to someone about your problems will be more than enough to make you feel better – and less stressed.