December 10, 2015

The Real Trick to Surviving Finals

Ok so bear with this analogy: You know when you want to put your hair in a messy bun? You have an outfit that the hairstyle would look just perfect with and you do a dramatic lip color to match the glam of the topknot. Then, with all your heart, you try to twist your hair into the messy bun and it just looks...bad? Yeah, I hate that. But then when you go to wash your face and you pull your hair back..BAM. Perfect messy bun. It's the worst.

Ok so finals week is kinda like that. If you give it all the (negative) attention, it won't be good. See, it's not about how hard your finals are, it's about how hard you are on yourself. Everyone around you is complaining, crying, and retweeting depressing Twitter memes (guilty). Snap out of it! It's an exam. Obviously, it's very important, but if you feed it's ego and tell it it's big and scary, it will be.

I notice that I don't feel stressed until everyone starts talking about how stressful finals are. Then I'm like, "Wait, should I be stressed? I mean what if I fail? I would get a bad grade in the class. Oh no. I'm going to cry. I need a sandwich and a bathroom stall to reenact the dramatic scene in Mean Girls when she cries in the bathroom."

Chill......The trick to studying for finals is to not build it up to be something horrifying.

Find a stress free zone to study in 
This probably isn't the library. My campus' library makes me feel sad and blue inside, so I avoid it at all costs. I like warm environments like coffee shops or just studying at HQ (my desk in my room).

Take breaks; not just for Netflix, but for something meaningful
Go on a drive to look at Christmas lights, do some holiday shopping with friends, watch Elf. Taking an hour or two off will really keep your sanity and you can enjoy the holiday spirit.

Have a countdown
You can get an app for your phone or just be old fashioned (Me!) and use a calendar. Watching the "Days left till Winter Break" get smaller and smaller will really keep you in good spirits.

Group de-stressing
Your university (or dorm) probably offers something like movie night or a holiday party for everyone to get together and have some holiday fun while taking a break from studying. I personally like to go to group exercise class or take tonight for instance - my church group and I are having a gingerbread house making contest!

So don't think about your messy bun. Just grab the necessary materials - brush, hair elastic, and dry shampoo - and whip it into something amazing! Oh...we're talking about finals...I meant finals.

After writing this, I realized by the time you read this, some of you will have finished finals and probably already be home. (LUCKY DUCKS!!!!) So, if you're home already, I challenge you to this winter break bucket list:

  • bake Christmas cookies
  • perform a lip sync and choreographed dance to your favorite Christmas song
  • send me the video so I can get a good laugh while studying for finals
  • watch your favorite Christmas movie 
  • don't forget a card with your presents - tell the person you're gifting to how much you love them!
  • go look at Christmas lights
  • try dark chocolate hot's SO good!
  • don't count calories on any festive treat (give me all the peppermint candy!)
  • keep checking Cristina on Campus Monday's and Thursday's for new posts!!!

Good luck and safe travels home!




  1. I love your messy bun analogy, totally works for finals. They don't need to be overly stressful! I agree that meaningful study breaks are the way to go, they're way better than Netflix binges that don't energize you at all!

  2. Such a cute post & really fantastic tips too! I love the bucket list at the end too. xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

  3. As a teacher, I still use a countdown for the days left until winter break! I just finished report cards (thank goodness!) and am so ready for the next week to be over so I can have some time off!

    xo Ashley

  4. These are all great!
    I actually hated studying in the library as well. I felt like I never truly focused there.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  5. Ahaha I love the idea of making a count down!! Great idea!

    Sara Kate Styling

  6. I love the idea of a winter break bucket list! How fun :)

    Sugar & Something

  7. These are such great tips! I totally agree that we need to stop giving finals week so much negative attention! If we all started being confident and saying WE GOT THIS... would finals week really be so bad? (Possibly) but we'd probably be in a much better mood about it!

    I also love this bucket list idea.. you came up with some perfect ideas! Dark chocolate hot cocoa?? Sign me up!

    Kayla |

  8. Great tips! Breaks are crucial and all nighters never work!

  9. I think taking meaningful breaks is so important! You need to make them feel like a real treat so you get lots done :)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  10. Such great tips! I can't stress how I should've prepared better

  11. My finals week starts on Monday so I have a whole week of stress before I go! these are all such great tips!

  12. Group de-stressing is such a great idea. It's so reassuring to know you're not alone during finals week! x Nicole |

  13. I agree that being hard on yourself can set the tone for a bad exam week .. Great tips girl!

    How 2 Wear It []