Surviving the end of the semester: tips for success

Surviving finals photo

SUMMARY: The end of the semester is busy and stressful, making it a priority to take care of yourself is important to finish your course work successfully.

   by Madeline McGrath, Marketing and Recruiting Assistant

Graduate students work hard all semester, but as we approach the end of each term, students often feel lots of pressure to finish strong. As this semester comes to an end, remember that performing well requires you take care of yourself. Consider these self-care tips that will reduce stress and improve performance:


One of the most important tips is to get plenty of sleep. You should aim to sleep at least 7 hours a night, but if that isn’t attainable, then try to sneak in a nap whenever you can. The ideal nap time is around 20 minutes, before your body can fully go into REM cycle. Naps longer than 30 minutes can leave you feeling groggy and confused when you wake up. Remember to rest whenever you can!


Drink plenty of water! Dehydration impairs cognitive functioning, memory, and mood. Lack of water can also lead to headaches which can be distracting and impair motivation. Alcoholic beverages should also be avoided because they are diuretics that can cause dehydration. To optimize performance, drink more water and avoid alcohol.


Exercise is a great stress reliever and can give you a boost of energy. UREC provides students with great opportunities for exercise including free 45-minute workout classes. Available classes include yoga, barre, and HIIT. If you are feeling stressed, consider working out!


Don’t forget to maintain a healthy diet during finals week. Don’t just eat snack foods from vending machines because you are busy. Healthy eating can boost your mood and give you the energy you need!

Take Breaks

Don’t forget to regularly take breaks. Taking a 10 minute study break while working can boost your productivity and energy levels when you’ve been studying for an extended period of time.



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