20 Ways to De-stress After Finals Week

unsplash.com // Ethan Robertson

By: Sarah Hofstedt, CSUN Public Health Intern

You are almost there. They are almost over. The end of the semester is glistening on the horizon, and you are poised to come out victorious. Finals week (and the week before it, when all your papers are due) can be extraordinarily stressful for college students. Here are 20 suggestions for releasing all of that tension you built up during the final moments of the semester.


No more sleepless nights studying, at least for a while. Take a nap. You earned it.

Eat a delicious meal

Whether it’s a $60 steak at a restaurant with a dress code or an unusual new burger at Fuddrucker’s, eating an especially scrumptious meal is a great way to reward yourself at the end of the semester.

Go out with family and/or friends

Spend time with people you enjoy at a place that does not remind you of school. Try a pub.

Cuddle your pets

They miss you.

Go to a concert

Summer concerts are all over Southern California, and watching musicians do their thing without any pressure on you to take notes can be so relaxing.


Or just take a walk. Your workout routine may have been interrupted by studying, but that’s no reason to let yourself stop working out.

See a comedy show

            Laugh it up! If you can’t afford the two drink minimum, hang out with your funniest friends for a couple hours.

Treat yourself

Now don’t go crazy, but a manicure or a new steering wheel cover may be a nice treat after exams.

Focus on a hobby for a few days

Forget about school and dive into your model train making. Or whatever it is you like doing.

Read for fun

Don’t take notes.

Enjoy nature

Take an hour to explore the outdoors and really experience nature. Notice the scent of the plants, and how animals behave. Watch a bee fertilize a flower. Listen to some birds sing. You’ll feel connected to Mother Earth in no time.

Go to a theme park

Nothing like a rollercoaster rush to clear out those post-exam jitters!

Visit a convention

Whether you’re into anime, robotics, bodypainting, or horror movies, there is a convention out there for the nerd in everyone.

Experience nostalgia

Watch a movie from your childhood, or go to a restaurant you haven’t been to in years. Go the extra mile by recreating a positive memory with the same food and people.

Burn old assignments

Make sure you don’t need them, and then light them up! Do it outside, and keep a fire extinguisher handy.

Clean up your space

All the time you spent cramming for exams, and you never noticed how many McGriddle wrappers have been crammed into your tiny trashcan… Take some time to tidy up.

Play a video game (especially with a friend)

Coordinate with a pal to defeat Bowser, or smash up the town as goats together. However you do it, keep it light.

Have a spa experience

A full body massage and facial is luxurious, but if you can’t afford that, try getting a simple pedicure.

Create or consume art

Draw, sing, write, or sculpt something from the heart. Or, if you prefer not to be the artist, visit an art museum or see a play.

Visit a fortune teller

Ask about where you should put your focus this summer. It’s fun to hear what the cosmos have to say about it.

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