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The Daily Tar Heel

Editorial: How to survive finals season


DTH Photo Illustration. With online classes forcing unfamiliar working habits and adding a new level of stress, UNC hopes a switch to a pass/fail option for all undergraduate classes will ease that stress.

Finals season is upon us — and given the already intense levels of stress we’ve endured this semester, this one is sure to be a doozy. To make matters worse, we won’t have any reading days to cushion the blow. (Thanks, UNC.)

From final exams to research papers and presentations, we know you’ve got a lot on your plate — so taking care of your mental health will be more important than ever. Here are some tips to help you make it through the week.

Make a comprehensive list of all important dates and deadlines between now and the end of the semester.

In fact, stop reading this and go put your exam dates in your Google Calendar. Do it! Now! You’ll thank us later. 

If you don’t know it by midnight, you’re probably not going to know it at all. 

Don’t pull an all-nighter. It’s not worth it. The best thing you can do for yourself is to go to bed and tackle that exam with a couple hours of sleep under your belt. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Take advantage of all the resources that are available to you: review sessions, office hours, study groups, etc. Foster solidarity with your classmates — they’re probably just as stressed as you are right now. 

Make sure you choose to pass/fail any classes before LDOC. 

The deadline to declare your classes pass/fail is Nov. 17, and given the hell we’ve been through this semester, we all need it. Save yourself the stress (and the GPA hit) before it’s too late. 

Practice self-care. 

Eat. Sleep. Take a break to watch an episode of your favorite show on Netflix. Do whatever you need to do to get a little serotonin boost here and there — you’re going to need it.  

Don’t be too hard on yourself. 

In a perfect world, we’d ace all of our finals. But this is far from a perfect world, or a perfect semester. Regardless of what happens, all that matters is that you tried your best. And if your best looks a little different right now, that’s OK. 

Remember you’re more than a number. 

Exam grades and GPAs aren’t a reflection of your worth, nor are they a reflection of how much you’ve learned and grown this semester. Ask yourself: in five years, will this really matter? Probably not. So take a deep breath and keep going. 

It’s OK to cry. 

Everything you’re feeling right now is valid — so let yourself feel it. Crying isn’t a bad thing! In fact, you might just feel better afterward. 

Good luck, Tar Heels. We believe in you! And remember, a two-month long break is just around the corner. 


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