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Managing Stress and Winding Down After Big Exams

Angel Garcia standing in the snow

This piece was written by communication intern Angel Garcia. Angel Garcia will graduate from BC and transfer out to a 4 year university where he will continue his education and get my Masters in Sociology. His goal for the future is to work along side social services to be a resource for children and families who need stable homes. He loves to soak in as much information he can get, help people as much as he can, and read too much Stephen King books! 

*Disclaimer: This is an article faculty can share with their students as they manage the stress of finals and wind down after the semester.

One of the biggest stresses a student goes through during their time on campus are the important exams that take place at the end of a school semester…. FINALS. These exams can make up around 25-30% of a student’s final grade, and what’s more stressful than working hard to get the best grade possible? 

After weeks of late nights, an established coffee addiction, and intense studying the final exams come and go. So what happens now? Hear me out because I’m about to give advice that is nearly impossible to follow….

R-E-L-A-X.

Also, 

B-R-E-A-T-H-E

There is a lot of pressure to succeed, so getting adjusted to normalcy and finding a way to relax almost sounds like an impossible feat. The following tips can help you to not only handle the stress during finals, but also to wind down once the semester is over. 

Let’s start with the easiest: walking. Spending time in nature can help in stress reduction. Walking also releases endorphins that also help alleviate stress which can relax and improve anyone’s mood. 

Other ways that can help are to find creative ways to express emotions. It can be in the form of drawing, painting, and singing a favorite song in the process. Let the creativity flow out whether it be a silly or a more serious expressive piece of art. 

It’s also great to have a group of positive thinking friends. It’s easy to catch the good energy around friends and family and can distract from the stress of taking the exams or worrying about the results. These friends tend to remind others of their strengths, do fun activities like bowling or going to a movie, or even assist in the process of creating a painting – though there’s no guarantee that a paint war won’t ensue. 

Above all else, take nice deep breaths. Take a nice hot bath, get a good night’s rest and take a mental note that this is not the end of the world. The stress will come and go. In the end, taking care of the mind and body are the best ways to handle the stress that inevitably comes when intense moments do happen to come around. Trust in the strength of positive thinking. It will benefit you immensely in the long run. 

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