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Self-care for Students Finished with Finals

Finals are considered some of the most stressful exams of any college student’s semester. When expected to assess one’s cumulative knowledge of over 12 hours of classwork in a couple of hours, small bits of pressure can really add up. Whether you’re powering through the last of your exams or you’ve been in the clear since last week, here are some tips regarding self-care for students to recover and preserve their mental health after a tough semester.

Power Off the Screens 

Even though you most likely haven’t had Zoom classes this semester, you’ve certainly seen your fair share of screen time. Simply powering down your devices for an hour to take a walk or spend time with a loved one can be more restorative than we even predict; let go of the notifications and expectations for a bit!

Make Room for Mindfulness

For a moment of stillness and rest after a hectic month of school, try a guided meditation exercise. Whether you’re an old pro or newbie when it comes to mindfulness, you may want to consider how it may benefit your mind and offer some rest rather than stress. Take some time to meditate or complete a body scan to ground yourself in your body and space, which has been proven to increase focus and decrease stress levels.

Get Moving

Whether your choice of movement is taking a walk or jog, lifting some weights, or just dancing in the mirror, it’s totally valid! By stretching and staying active, you can build a healthy routine centered around your wellbeing. While studying for most of my finals, I spent hours on end hunched over at a desk or table, staring at my laptop or scribbling away furiously. Simply taking walk breaks during a study sesh immensely improved the mental health and focus of myself and my study buddies, so keep that in mind for next semester as well.

Read Something New

Whether your newest foray into literature includes a hot new fantasy book, a cool article found here on or something else completely, the holidays can be a great time to dive into a new read. Some of my favorite books I’ve had the chance to review for True Star recently are: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, Night Music by Jenn Marie Thorne and Trouble is A Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly.

Don’t Forget About Friends

If you catch a break, call a friend or two to hang out. Simply discussing your day, comforting each other, and getting a good laugh can brighten your day as well as theirs! Walking through the tasks you have for the week or making new plans to spend time together can be a simple way to break things down with a friend, whether they’re in the same boat as you academically or not.

Journal for Reflection

Journaling can help us reflect on some of our most significant moments, as well as establishing a routine in our seemingly mundane everyday tasks. Here are some prompts for journaling regarding the end of 2021 as it approaches.

  • What are your biggest wins of the year?
  • If you could write a letter to your January 2021 self, what would you tell them?
  • Who have been your biggest supporters recently? How can you support them back?
  • How can you tell your story? Who will you tell it to? Who do you want to listen to you? 

Whether these tips suit your break schedule or not, remember to take some time for yourself over the next few weeks. You’ve worked hard to earn what you have this semester, and deep down you have what it takes to do it all again. Happy holidays!


By Leah Ollie, Freshman, Butler University

Instagram: @leahgraceollie

Written by Leah Ollie

Leah is a senior at Whitney Young High School, and has been working with True Star since fall of 2020. She loves fruit smoothies and cats, and dislikes kale and action movies.

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