It’s essentially the last week of classes, which means there isn’t much time to go until your sitting down for your first final exam of the semester. Whether your a 1L getting ready to take your very first law school exam or a seasoned 3L who can almost feel that law diploma in your hand, final exams can cause stress and anxiety. While preparation for finals does require focus and a lot of hard work, it’s important to make time for self-care as well. Preparing for finals should not involve pulling all-nighters, abusing caffeine (or worse), or anxiety attacks. Yes, you’ll have to put in some long hours. Yes, you’ll have moments of stress, doubt, or even fear. And yes, you may have to temporarily neglect some other responsibilities in order to prepare for finals. But your study periods will be more productive, your brain will be more efficient, and your performance on exams will be stronger if you take care of yourself. During the next few weeks, make sure you’re doing the following:

  • Get a good night’s sleep each night. Proper sleep is vital to memory and concentration.
  • Eat nutritious, healthy food that will fuel your brain and body.
  • Make time to exercise or decompress with a hobby you enjoy. Everyone needs to take breaks periodically so that they can recharge and refocus.
  • Meditate, practice mindfulness, or do anything else that helps you relax. Too much stress can impede your ability to focus and be productive.
  • Reach out to our great University Counseling Services if you’re really struggling with stress, anxiety or self-doubt.
  • Ask for encouragement from supportive friends and family. Only surround yourself with positive voices during this tense time.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other students. Do what is best for you.
  • Create a study schedule and stick to a consistent routine.
  • If you have questions or need clarification on a topic, ask for help!

The next couple of weeks are likely to be a blur of outlines, practice problems, and case law. Just remember to take the time throughout the preparation period to care for yourself so that you can be at your best – physically, mentally, and emotionally – when exams start.