Campus Life | Mind off Finals

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

By Shriya Yadamreddi, Staff Writer

The end of the semester is almost here, which means that finals week is slowly approaching us. Spending countless hours in the library studying can sometimes cause a lot of stress and anxiety for people. With that being said, it is still healthy to take breaks. The pressure to perform well can be overwhelming. It might cause anxiety and make it difficult to focus. However, taking breaks and engaging in self-care activities can help alleviate stress and promote mental wellness.

First, it is very important to stay active, which will be much easier since the weather is finally starting to warm up. You could easily go for a quick walk or run in between classes to take your mind off exams for a little. Exercise reduces the negative effects of stress and can significantly improve your mood. You could even do this with a few friends so that it helps everyone and you can all have a good time. If you are not a big fan of exercising outdoors, you could try to do some yoga or even meditate in the comfort of your own home. 

A few activities I really enjoy doing when I need a break or need to get my mind off things are journaling and drawing. I feel like I never have time to do this anymore since I am always so caught up with school work, but this year I really am trying to make it a priority. If you are not the biggest fan of writing or drawing, you could always try to pick up a new hobby, such as playing a musical instrument. I grew up playing the violin and it helps me calm down when I am feeling stressed. Volunteering or doing community service is also a meaningful way to connect with others and feel a sense of purpose. 

Spending some time with friends and family might also help get your mind off of exams. I suggest grabbing a few friends and going out to lunch or dinner one day and spending quality time with them. I always find that whenever I am with my friends, I tend to forget about everything else for a few hours and only focus on having a good time with them. My roommate and I always have weekly dinners in our apartment, and we tend to do this more during finals week. Sometimes we lose track of time and forget to eat our meals during the day, and it is very important to keep our bodies well-fed and hydrated. We go grocery shopping together over the weekend so that we have enough food for the week. We try to prepare meals for the week so in case we are in a time crunch, we have food ready to enjoy.  

If you feel like none of these would help and you are just tired from studying, a nice nap will help you significantly. It is so important to take rest, especially when you have a lot of exams coming up. A power nap may just do the trick and get you back on schedule when you feel tired. You can even have yourself a spa day and get a massage or some other kind of spa treatment. I did this last semester after finals week as an end of the semester treat and also something to look forward to. As a result of wanting to accomplish it for myself and being excited about it, this gave me additional motivation to study harder. Taking a relaxing bath or shower could also really help. 

I really encourage you to try some of the things I stated since studying for hours on end for exams can really take a toll on your mental health. It is very important to prioritize your mental health and to put yourself first, especially during this time in the semester. By incorporating physical activity, creative outlets, social connections and rest and relaxation, students can take their minds off of finals and improve their overall well-being. It is important to prioritize self-care and mental health, not just during finals, but throughout the year. This could also be beneficial throughout your years in college.