Campus Life | Finals De-stressing

Campus Life is a biweekly blog about the everyday things happening around Pitt’s campus.

By Shriya Yadamreddi, Staff Writer

Thanksgiving break just ended, which means finals are around the corner. These three weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break are very hectic and stressful. Although finals are very important, taking care of yourself during this difficult time and giving yourself a break is just as important.

Practicing self-care, whether it is by yourself or with a couple of friends, is very important. Self-care can come in various forms, whether physical, emotional, social, spiritual, etc. Depending on the person, one may find it relaxing to hit the gym and focus on the physical aspect, or journaling to focus on the emotional, or even a social detox to spend time with yourself. All of these things are very important to do throughout the year and not just during finals season, but key to keep in mind while taking continuous exams.

My roommate and I really enjoy going on walks to de-stress. Even though it is cold outside and will most likely start to snow soon, sometimes a walk in the cold is what you may need. If it does start to snow and there is enough to go sledding, Schenley Park is a great place to go with friends and have some fun to get your mind off things. You can even get yourself some hot chocolate or coffee and go on a walk by yourself during the day.

My favorite thing to do when I have a lot on my mind is journaling or reading a book. This is not an activity for everyone, but I can assure you that writing down what you are feeling is very helpful. You can also grab your favorite book and sit in bed for a couple of hours to distract yourself from all the studying you have to do. Although you will still have to make time to study for your exams, this can give you a much needed break.

Sometimes in college we realize that we are hanging out with friends a lot during the week and we let that interfere with school work. There were many situations where I would go to Hillman Library to study with a few friends, but we would just end up talking the entire time. This would result in none of us getting any work or studying done. You may just need to study on your own and hang out with your friends later.

It is very important to know what to prioritize because if you are like me, you are easily convinced to go get dinner with a few friends. It can result in us talking for hours, even though I know I have to study later that night. Spending time with friends is never a bad thing until it interferes with your grades and school work.

Managing social media time is another great way to have a social detox. I recently found myself spending a lot of time on TikTok and other social media apps, and realized I was on my phone for hours at a time. One thing I did that has really helped me was setting screen time limits for these apps. On my phone the app will lock itself if I reach the certain number of minutes or hours I can go on it for the day. If I know that I got all my work and studying done for the day, then I will allow myself to go on it for a bit longer, but if not, I will try not to use my phone because I know I will somehow get distracted.

Another thing that is very important when trying to de-stress is making sure you are getting enough sleep and eating enough. Sometimes when we are studying we lose track of time and don’t realize how late it is. Or when we lose track of time, we replace a meal with an energy drink to try and keep ourselves awake.

During my sophomore year, this was a habit I developed, and it affected me in a very negative way. I never had any energy during the day because I was up all night studying and would not eat enough because I was full off of my coffee. This year, to make sure that it does not happen again, I will make sure to prepare meals at the beginning of the week or whenever I have time during my days so that I will know I am fueling my body properly.

There is nothing wrong with staying up late to study because I know that some people are more productive this way, but make sure that you catch up on your sleep the next day because if not, it can really take a toll on your health.

These are a few things I like to do to de-stress and give myself a break from studying, as well as a few points I like to keep in mind so that I am still taking care of myself during this stressful and hectic time. Good luck, Panthers!

Shriya writes about a few of her favorite things to do to take her mind off of finals. Talk to them at [email protected].