Finals Make Me Feel Not Like Myself

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Emma is the editor & creator (and occasionally writer) for The Messy Heads. She enjoys yellow curry, print media, and singing to herself.

It is currently 2 am on Saturday, two days before my finals week. It feels as if I have been prepping for these tests for a couple weeks now. My mind has been such a fog of essays, study guides, time at the library, black coffee, and repeat back again. I go into a room to look for something but all I can remember is that Elliptical galaxies have a lot of M stars but few O stars (I don’t even really know what that means).

It is times like these, when school is the top priority and all of my focus goes to grades that I start to disconnect with myself. It feels like all of  my time needs to be spent flipping through textbooks or backspacing on Microsoft word or else it is wasted. In this span of a few days spent studying, ignoring friends’ phone calls, and camped out in sweats, the girl I think I am who plays guitar, watercolors, and loves to run, feels an ocean away. I know I can’t be the only one that gets like this. (and if I am just pretend for moral support)

Here are a few things that I have been doing to help bring myself back during the chaos of finals when my brain is blurred with double spaced lines and test bubbles.


Exercising- This morning I went for a run first thing before I did anything else. Even though it was pouring out, I kept wanting to go farther and faster. I did not for one step think about the five chapters I had to review later that day.

Read old journal entries- The past week I have been too tired to keep up with the ritual of writing in my journal before I go to bed, so pages have stayed blank as I fall asleep in five minutes. I went and reread some past entries in which I talk about things I am passionate about, things that inspire me, and moments that make me happy. Just skimming these pages brought such calmness to me, knowing that after my tests are done I can go back to this mindset.

Call or Facetime a friend- I called my sister and talked about winter break plans and parties and I facetimed India and talked about freckles and faux fur. Just this 20 minute refresh helped me destress considerably.

Spend a few minutes reading- The lighter the better. I’m talking skim through a book and just look at the pictures. Anything that doesn’t require highlighting or googling what a word means.

Put down your phone- Since I am reviewing a lot of material online or working on essays on my computer, I am constantly looking at a screen. I have just been leaving my phone in my drawer because checking it adds to my squinting which adds to my headaches which adds to my stress.

Write letters- I took some time out to write a short letter to Haley saying thank you & love you and wrote another one to my sister. Putting pen to paper and being  positive to somebody else really helps lift my mood.

Take time to breathe- We got this.




  1. Anonymous says

    i feel this. i have so many projects and midterms coming up and so many other things due before break that im stressing about so badly. i really needed to hear this thank you❤️❤️

  2. This is sooo relevant right now. I’ve had a few days to relax after having a project due every single day last week, and I’ve just felt anxious the whole time because I feel as if I should be doing school work. These are great tips!

  3. Mariah Espinal says

    Kill it on those finals Emma!! You have been prepping for them for weeks! Don’t sweat it. I have no clue why but whenever I take either class or standardized tests lemon water helps me focus better and not have much anxiety. Maybe it can help you focus more during your tests too ☺️

  4. Lauren says

    This is so incredibly relatable right now, thanks gorgeous xx

  5. Pingback: Finals Make Me Feel Not Like Myself | No-Label Gems

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