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Student Blog: Finally Finals

The importance of self-care during finals.

Finals is both the best and worst time of the semester. You're so close to the finish line, yet there are a ton of hurdles you have to overcome before you can reach it. The typical thing you hear about finals time usually involves studying 24/7, pulling all-nighters, and drinking lots of coffee. It's a difficult time. You've been stressed all semester because of life and school in general, but then this week or two dial it up even more. Stressed about time management, stressed about getting good grades, stressed about packing your dorm to move out, and many other things, all get compacted into this small timeframe. So during all of this, you're probably not thinking about the one thing you need to get through it - self-care. I know people who will spend every second they have to cram as much as they can to prepare for their exams.

The saying that comes to mind is, "I can sleep when I'm dead." My one word of advice is to not follow that and take a second to rest. Last semester, I took a business professionalism class and the main part of that course was to have groups present different factors that are considered important to foster a better work environment. After, we would all discuss what we thought were the top three most important factors to consider. We all agreed that self-care was a main priority. From that project, I learned that not many people take the time to practice self-care. Though we all knew that it should be a present topic in the workplace, we still wouldn't practice what we preached. Honestly, finding that balance can be really difficult. There have been mentions that people feel negatively about themselves when they're not doing work. They say they feel unproductive and lazy, so they choose to work until they fall asleep without even noticing.

What I also learned from that project is that you must practice self-care to be successful. If you're pulling all-nighters, your brain will simply run on steam. Your work will not be to its best potential by doing that. Operating without proper meals because you told yourself to finish that paper before having dinner can affect not just your work but also your health. Your physical health as well as your mental health need to be in good standings, meaning you need to put yourself first. The concept of needed academic validation has become such a consuming issue for many, including myself sometimes. Getting straight A's makes you feel valuable, and there's nothing wrong with being proud of your work, but if you're getting those 100's at the expense of yourself, were you entirely successful?

Self-care is something I've tried to implement more into my life, and it really does pay off. It's not just associated with stepping back from your computer, it needs to become a habit to balance your life. Maybe you had a long week and your friends ask you to go out, but you're exhausted. You don't need to force yourself to go out to appease your friends, you can say no, and usually they completely understand. You could potentially make them reconsider if they need a night off as well. If you've been studying for hours, there's only so much information you will retain - take a break and get a good night's sleep. If you can't remember the last time you've stepped away from your desk, that's your sign to do it. Life can feel a lot more manageable when you take a second to breathe and treat yourself.

So remember to practice self-care, especially if you're in "finals mode." You are not a failure for taking a break, you're more so winning by helping yourself. Encourage others to focus on themselves too because anyone can benefit from self-care.

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From This Author - Student Blogger: Olivia Murray

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