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It’s that time again. Finals: that awkward time of year when the school has allotted a period of about a month to have them all written, and yet you have them all in one week. That terrible time of year when you either don’t eat at all or eat excessively, sleep is out of the question, and hygiene has gone out the window. It’s funny because it’s true. I’m not going to tell you not to stress about finals, because let’s face it, they’re something to stress about, but I will list out a few coping mechanisms for you to try.

Failed a practice test? Good.

No, really. Failing a practice test means that you won’t make the same mistakes on the actual exam. Take the opportunity to see which areas of the material you’re struggling with, be it a specific concept or a whole chapter. Focus on what you don’t know instead of reassuring yourself by only reading the things that you do know.

Change your attitude.

It’s proven that a different point of view can dramatically increase or decrease your level of stress. Stress only becomes distress when you feel like you can’t deal with the stress. Avoid distress by believing that you can do it. Think of the exams that you’ve written in previous years. You got through those, didn’t you? I’m sure there was a time when you felt like you couldn’t handle a situation and it ended up a lot better than you thought. See? You can do it. You’ve done it in the past.

Do your work instead of thinking about how much work you have to do.

We’re all guilty of this. Venting about how screwed we are is a common occurrence, especially for finals. Think of all the time you spend stressing. Once I think I went about a week, paralyzed with fear, before I managed to get any work done. So much can happen in a week. Heck, so much can happen in a couple of hours!

Give some love, get some love.

We’re all going through it at the same time. Don’t be afraid to ask for a hug, or take a study break by having dinner with your friends. We could all use some support during exams when we feel like the world is about to come crashing down on us. (Note: I prefer hugs.)

What other tips do you have on dealing with finals and stress? Let us know in the comments below!

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Photo courtesy of comedy_nose via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).