Dealing with Stress as Finals Approach

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Finals can be very stressful, but there are ways to manage stress so that you can productively study. Remember to take care of yourself by sleeping, eating, and taking breaks. Take a walk or engage in other physical activity as this can help you reduce stress and refocus. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take some deep breaths with the aid of an app like Breathe2Relax. UNC offers group fitness classes, such as yoga, Pilates, HIIT, or cycling. Also, there are a number of relaxing places to go on campus, like the NC Botanical Garden, Morehead Planetarium, and Ackland Art Museum.

In the end, do what works for you. Here are examples of what worked for UNC Law Librarians during law school:

Allison Symulevich , Reference Librarian (UF Law '13) – “When I was in law school, I liked to make my own outlines with an excessive amount of color coordinated tabs and highlighting. I tried to start studying fairly early because cramming didn't work for me. I would study with my law school friends Christina and Frank, usually at a coffee shop off campus to get away from stressful environments. We would attend review sessions and do any practice exams or old exams if the professor provided them. For study breaks, I would play tennis or go to the gym with friends that were not in law school.”

Tiffany Camp Johnson , Reference Librarian (UConn Law '09) – “Group studying worked well. Even if you didn’t talk to each other or weren’t studying the same subject, being in close proximity to friends made it feel like you weren’t going through what can a very stressful process alone. Also, since I attend law school in the Northeast, I made sure to have hot chocolate. It was my comfort beverage.”

Melissa Hyland , Reference Librarian (UNC Law '13) - "My friends and I planned regular study breaks that got us away from law school world and doing something fun. We went to movies, shopped, tried out new restaurants – with the unspoken rule that you didn’t talk about exams or exam prep. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing, be intentional about scheduling time for it and disconnect from studying for a bit each day."

Aaron Kirschenfeld , Digital Initiatives Law Librarian (UNC Law '15) - "In law school, my only big thing was making sure to print both my outline and my condensed outline the night before an exam, and then spend any time after that annotating in the margins and highlighting key concepts. Irony of ironies, as I am now a librarian, I did not enjoy studying in the library at all! I preferred to stay at home where I could be sure to get some exercise and not have to worry about schlepping my things back and forth to the law school building. I set a stopping point each night based on how the day was going when I would relax and watch TV with my fiancé, now my wife. And I always took inspiration from fellow Duke alumnus Richard Nixon, who was nicknamed “Iron Butt” in law school due to his ability to keep himself in his chair and on task. Oh, and NEVER EVER DISCUSS THE EXAM WITH ANYONE AFTER IT IS OVER."

Interested in some additional resources? Check out:

Posted by Allison Symulevich on Fri. November 30, 2018 3:12 PM
Categories: Uncategorized


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