The Calm Before the Finals Storm

Going home for Thanksgiving break, (which could mean across the Hudson in New Jersey like myself or in sunny California), means a small break away from reality. After devoting countless hours studying in Bobst Library for mid-terms, I could not have thought of a better remedy than going home to my loved ones, my puppy, and what seemed to be a never ending table of holiday food and dessert. My stress began to lower, my Netflix account was finally non-neglected, and my relaxation level seemed to be at an all time high. Yet, I could not seem to put my finger on the unsettling feeling that I had something to. But, I finished my assignments before the break, so why am I over thinking? It was not until mid-turkey leg that I realized the cause of this feeling came from the big F-word that we have all come to know so well. Say it with me, finals” (grabs another turkey leg).

An NYU student might tell you that one of the many reasons they love going to school here is because of the electricity and opportunity that comes with living in Manhattan, which I’d have to agree with. The city is Electric with a capital E. Even so, beyond the vibrant energy Greenwich Village harbors, it could be safe to say that we chose a college like this because we care about our grades, learning, and challenging what we already know. Naturally, students who fall into this category have the habit of worrying about their academic well-being, with the weeks of finals being especially noted. One of the hardest challenges I faced was time management; finding the balance between exploring all the city has to offer and putting enough time aside to meet my personal academic goals. This point in the semester is one of the tests of those important time management skills. Finals means trading some late night dollar pizza trips with your best friends on 3rd Avenue for late nights in the lower level of the library. Finals means skipping weekend trips to the Met for group study sessions at Think Coffee. Finals means finding that last bit of motivation to prove myself in the classes I’ve worked so hard in all semester as opposed to finding the best seat at a local slam poetry event twice a week.

The inner Serena and Blair city-explorer in me would have to be put on hold for a moment as I let my real-life nursing student reality kick into the dominant role. The Met could wait; (Or does it have to really)?

Through some trial and error, I’ve come up with some tips for myself to remember, as finals are rapidly approaching, which you might relate to or want to give a try.

  • Stay hydrated (which I forget well too often for a nursing major, whoops).
  • Make a plan, because not knowing where to start is enough to add even more stress that many of us deal with during this time.
  • Remain active in whichever way is most comfortable. I’m no marathon runner, but going for a walk and doing some aerobic exercises have done wonders for my focus.
  • Coffee is great, but in moderation (But, what do you mean, I’m only only my sixth cup)!
  • Block off certain blocks of time to do anything other than school work.

She said what?

I’ve come to learn that these breaks are necessary after spending hours with my material. A little break and distraction re-stimulates me to sit back down again and make that final stretch of studying not so difficult. Whether it be sitting in Washington Square Park with Lena Dunham’s latest book or going out to lunch with my suite-mates, I realized that I do not have to shut off my social and personal outlets in order to perform the way I want to during exam season. It’s my last semester in New York until coming home from study abroad, so it was especially important to spend time with my books as well as the city streets I now call home.

Finals may be on the horizon, but with the right mentality, we can make it through that final stretch. After all, we’re all in this together.

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