It’s the most stressful time of the year: How to balance studying, self care

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With finals right around the corner, studying for a whole semester’s worth of material for multiple subjects can seem overwhelming. Amongst all of this cramming and reading until your eyes bleed, looking out for your health can become less of a priority. But never fear, we at the Clog are here to help! Read on for a guide on how to get that perfect balance between self-care and GPA-care during the stressful time that is dead week.

Start early

While putting off studying to scroll through endless meme pages or simply hang out with friends can be tempting, it can also lead to a downward spiral of stress and anxiety. The worst thing about starting to study is knowing where to start, so we think that starting earlier rather than later is the best move. Whether it’s reading the textbook, going through lecture slides or even just running through the syllabus and making a list of everything you need to study, putting that foot in the door can be all you need to activate that productivity mode.


Sure, you think that you work better at night, and that staying up until 3 a.m. or pulling an all-nighter is worth it because you’re “so productive” and you “get so much done!” The truth, however, is that everyone needs sleep. Even if you’ve trained your body to be used to minimal rest and to chug along on a ridiculous amount of coffees, you’re probably not at your most productive. There’s also the fact that sleep deprivation really affects you mentally, messing with your emotions and generally making you a more unproductive person.

Seek help – for classes and yourself

Yes, you’re at one of the top universities, but you’re not expected to know everything. If you’re confused on a subject or don’t know what’s going on, go out and get some help! UC Berkeley is full of great tutoring resources for a wide range of subjects, you can even email a GSI or professor and book an appointment with them! Don’t be afraid to take advantage of all the resources available to you, that’s what they’re there for!

Also, if you’re feeling a little stressed or stir-crazy, know when to take a break! It’s okay to not study for a couple hours and go out for a movie or a meal with friends when you need that break.

Treat yo’ self!

To incentivize studying and make yourself a happy Bear, treats are a must. Whether it’s a simple 20-minute TV episode, a refreshing Baby Yoda meme or a chocolate bar at the end of a study session, giving yourself a little something for all your hard work makes it more rewarding. The bonus to this is that your intermediate snacking can also be study fuel, keeping that nerdy brain running at full steam for the next two weeks!

Good luck studying, Golden Bears! The Clog believes in you, so go hit dead week and those finals out of the park and strut home with your head held high!

Contact Chandini Dialani at [email protected].