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What College Students Want to Hear During Finals Week
Author: Lori Bender, MSW
Professional Wellness and Life Coach
Helping College Students Manage Stress at
Carolina Lifestyle Coaching and Consulting, LLC
This week lends you no time to reflect. Every brain cell and mental faculty is being tested right now. All you can do is try and rise out of the depths of knowledge long enough to eat and drink. You are operating in survival mode, maybe even panic mode.
Briefly take a moment to recall “life”, as you remember it (but want to forget it), this last semester. There were probably few times that you felt overwhelmed, stuck, or perplexed with daily life. Maybe more than a few.
I know some of you cried a tear or two. You felt unsupported by professors. You felt like you could not breathe, literally, in the midst of mid-terms. The election did a number on you. Friends were not there for you. Some of you even experienced tragedy and family issues that caused you to debate withdrawing from school. You have been tested and put through the ringer.
Here is what you want to hear.
You made it this far! You did not give up. You persevered. You rethought your perspective on certain situations. You tried harder. You approached things differently. You apologized. You forgave yourself many times, as well as forgave the people who did not support you when you needed it the most. You prayed. You accepted life’s challenges- some you failed, some failed you. You reminded yourself often how lucky you are to be able to go to college. Most importantly, you started to figure out on a personal level who you are, what you care about, and where you want to be in ten years.
Finals week is a culmination of emotions and feelings mixed with exhaustion, neglected self-care, and mental demands. You have the ingredients for a personal explosion. You won’t ever reach this breaking point because there is much more depth to you than you realize. Your internal strength is more than enough to overcome any personal struggle you will face the next few days.
You ARE going to come out on top. You always do. If for some reason (within or without of your control) you do not survive finals week, it is not the end of your world. You are young, healthy, in control of your happiness, and wanted by other people. Family loves you. Friends can’t wait to “hang” with you. And, you get a really long break that corporate people no longer get to enjoy!
Think about this. Holiday cookies are waiting to be made. The pavement, swimming pool, and weight room are calling your name. Your family can not wait to have you home. Your friends (old and new) have not gone anywhere. They will be around when you hand in that last exam. That book you started reading and had to put down, is still there. Dusty, but there. Your bed is still comfortable. And, there are probably even a few surprises waiting for you!
What you should remember the next few days and recall every time you feel stressed is that, “It’s okay.” Everything you are thinking, feeling, and mulling over is all a part of the process of self-development. These worries are healthy and normal. They have more power than you know. They propel you to perform, survive, and succeed.
So, “expect” to feel overwhelmed, defeated or even physically sick at times (if you are not taking care of yourself during finals). You will feel exhausted and depleted of energy. Listen to your body and take small breaks. Nourish your body. Calm your soul because thankfully and realistically, the dreadful feelings are temporary and the positive emotions are waiting until you have had tome to mentally decompress to revisit. You will feel relaxed and calm very soon.
Take the BEST care of yourself this week. Don’t laugh it away as being “too late” or “it doesn’t matter”. It does matter and so do you!
Best of luck.