Managing End of Term Stress

Written by Monica Xiao

With only two weeks left in the term and final deadlines approaching, we’ve reached the busiest time of the term. I have three assignments due and one test between now and the last day of class. What about you? It’s a stressful time for all of us. Here are some tips and resources to manage end of term stress.  

Put yourself first

Maintain a sleep schedule

If I could only give one tip, it would be to not sacrifice your sleep for any work. I’m sure you know how it feels when you don’t get enough sleep the night before. Maintain your sleep schedule, even during busy times. This just means trying to go to bed and waking up around the same time every day. I know that eight hours of sleep surely doesn’t fit in my busy schedule, but I try to get in six, between midnight and 6 a.m. When I tried to stay late at night, I realized that the quality of work after 11 p.m. just isn’t good. I’m a morning person, so it’s more beneficial for me to go to bed early and wake up early the next day. This routine has kept me in good spirits! 

Don’t sacrifice your sleep

Create deadlines for each stage

Break each assignment into stages, assign deadlines to each stage, then put down those dates in your calendar so they are more “official.” This not only spreads the workload evenly, but also helps you track progress. The same goes for studying for an exam.  When there are multiple assignments or tests on the same day, setting manageable goals keeps you on track.

Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you miss a self-imposed deadline and remember to reward yourself after completing each stage! 

Join study groups or find a study buddy

Study with your friends!

Studying with your friends is a great way get some serious work done while still having some kind of social life. Working with friends gives you an opportunity to talk through the course concepts and your ideas for your papers. You can test each other if you’re preparing for an exam. When you can clearly explain an idea or concept, that means you’ve grasped the concept. Otherwise, it’s a good sign that you still need some clarification. Ask your friends to explain it to you or set up an appointment with your course instructor during their office hours.  

Pro tip: Book a group study room at one of York’s libraries or catch up on Zoom.  

Take advantage of York’s resources

Student Papers & Academic Research Kit (SPARK)

screenshot of the SPARK website

SPARK is a step-by-step guide to writing academic papers from understanding the assignment to the final editing stage. It’s a series of eight- to 10-minute online modules. You don’t have to complete them in order—just watch the ones you need.

Writing Centre

As part of the Writing Department, the Writing Centre is here to help with all your academic writing. The Writing Centre offers one-on-one appointments, drop-in sessions and workshops. You don’t need to have a completed draft to work with the instructors. In fact, even if you’re still brainstorming your paper, book an appointment to go over your ideas to make sure you’re on the right track and gain more insights!  

Ask a librarian

At this point in the term, many of us are probably living in York’s libraries. Whether you’re in the library or on the library’s website, you can ask a librarian to help you refine your research and learn about which databases can help you best. There are so many research guides and databases available to York students that it can be overwhelming at times, so consult a professional.  

Pro tip: Here’s Your Ultimate Guide to York’s Libraries

Attend workshops to help you destress

Take care of your well-being

Student Counselling, Health & Well-being (SCHW) hosts self-care workshops and offers student well-being resources.  

If you are interested in offering your input to better the well-being resources available at York, check out the Well-being page and sign up for the student feedback sessions. You can choose between virtual and in-person sessions— whichever suits you best.

If you’re an international student, York International also offers health and well-being support. Don’t forget to check out their events page.