Finals, the testing ground of any well-structured, and some not-so-well structured, college courses. Finals are the time in life when your sleep patterns might fluctuate, or perhaps you will decide to only dine at your local vending machine, and in some cases, the all-nighter will have to be pulled. Fear not, however, as finals are now officially done. You might be wondering to yourself, “What do I do now?” which is a more than fair question now that you’ve gone through such a harrowing journey. You might as well be calling yourself Samwise because you’re journey through the hills, valleys, and occasional dragons (shoutout to those endowed with coffee breath) of finals week rivals the heaviest of the Lord of the Rings novels. Now that you’ve ended your hero’s journey, whether that be for a quarter or for a lifetime, it’s pivotal to understand how to re-enter the world following finals. With that being said, here’s what we got:
1) Take a Day Off
This might be the most essential step in re-living after being deprived of so much joy in your life. Getting done with finals is almost tantamount to leaving a terrible relationship, you might not know how to get back to yourself initially but you know you can and want to get there. Step one requires a lot of peace. You have to get in good with yourself. You might have forgotten what it’s like having a lesser amount of responsibility, so it’s important to really feel that weight off of your shoulders by not having much of an agenda. Watch some TV, workout, go to a pottery class, whatever it is, just do something that doesn’t take much brain effort. We can guarantee that some study at some university done by some professor backs this advice up 100%.
2) Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Whether it’s yoga, a good swim, a brisk walk, or a nice lift, exercise has been proven to release cortisol which is paramount for maintaining stress levels. If you’re anything like me, you were probably a raging stress monster during finals season, so releasing some cortisol is gonna be a big check on the to-do list. If you have some time left-over in IV and your sleep schedule is still whack - like waking up at 5/6AM levels of whack - I definitely suggest going for a run along the beach. It’s serene, calming, and gorgeous as soon as the sun rises. Nothing beats the purple hue that comes from the sun bouncing off the waves and the surrounding clouds.
3) Reconnect with Family and Friends
Chances are most of the interactions you had during finals were asking complete strangers to watch your stuff in the lib while you went to get a Yerb, which is totally fine… until now. It’s time to get back on that horse and be social again. This is the one thing you might not want to do, you might feel like staying in and taking one extra day off before having any great social interactions, which is completely ok. The point we are making, however, is that you should take the time to go and hang with friends and family, especially if you are going home. There’s no better method - ok there’s one better method but we’ll get to that - of recharging the battery and feeling human again than having a laugh with some loved ones. See the friends you care about back home or here in IV, tell your folks you love them, heck, even your dogs and cats can get in on the action. Just show up, and be like “I’m ready--let’s kick it,” and chances are it will be the best thing for your soul.
Ok, for real though, the best thing you can do is give yourself a good ol’ pat on the back. Whether that’s cracking open a seltzer, treating yo’ self a la Tom Haverford style, or binging a Paul Rudd movie marathon, you earned this time off and you should indulge a bit. Let yourself smile a bit more and have a few extra laughs. More likely than not you’re gonna have a few weeks off from school and work so take that time to really reconnect with the fun side of yourself (in a responsible way that is).
Gauchos, we’re mighty proud of you all. You earned this break and we can’t wait to see you soon and hear all about your post-finals lives. Don’t forget to stay healthy over break and into next quarter and we look forward to sharing a good time when we’re all back. Happy Break!
Brock Clark plans to celebrate finals being done with a hearty steak, a fair glass of wine, and learning more about Baby Yoda.