Getting through finals week can feel like a marathon. The week is dictated by deadlines and hurdles we have to power through to reach the finish line. Similar to marathon runners, we can start to tire easily. The burnout starts to set in before we even pick up a pencil and start that first final exam. Burnout drags students to such a low level that sometimes they struggle to get back out of that hole.
For me, burnout started to set in right after Thanksgiving break. Like most students, I took those few days to relax, spend time with family, and not think about schoolwork. I dreaded the turnaround time from Thanksgiving break to the long haul grind to finals week. I wore down quickly. Desperately, I needed something to boost my spirits and motivate me to get through finals week.
Through trial and error, I experimented with different ways to power through burnout. I started by trying to take planned naps throughout the day, but as almost every college student knows, things do not always go to plan. Most times I ended up oversleeping, not sleeping at all, or feeling more tired than before I took the nap. Sadly, naps were not the solution.
Then I tried to develop a reward system. For example, if I worked hard on my finals that day, then I would spend the night hanging out with friends. I motivated myself with other incentives such as stopping at a coffee shop on the way to campus to study or grabbing my favorite bite to eat. It was the small things that got me through the week.
I learned to treat myself with good things because I knew I deserved them. We deserve nice things regardless of what we accomplish. Even if you spent all morning struggling to get out of bed, reward yourself for getting up. Burnout feeds on exhaustion, stress, and desperation. Do whatever you need to do to prioritize your health, physically and mentally, and be the best version of yourself.
Finals week can be a struggle. Honestly, college in general is difficult. Don’t let burnout deter you from achieving your goals. While college is about education, it is also about learning how to take care of yourself. Quickly, students learn that being independent means more than grocery shopping and paying rent, especially during finals week. Being independent means understanding what your needs are and learning how to satisfy those needs in order to be successful. Remember, finals are important, but so are you. Don’t sacrifice health and happiness in the name of finals week. Find out what helps you fight the burnout and rock those finals!
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