It’s the most wonderful ~stressful~ time of the year… finals can be intense, especially if you stay locked up in your room for 14 hours a day without seeing sunlight (been there, done that, don’t do it). Remember, diamonds are made under pressure, and sometimes your best studying and work can get done in between breaks of fun, stress-relieving activities! Speaking of, here’s my guide of ~top five finals stress relievers~ for the week!

Check out the new Salt & Straw flavors

Probably the single thing that gets me most excited for December to start is the unveiling of five glorious winter ice cream flavors. As an avid food sampler (I frequent Costco and Trader Joe’s often), Salt & Straw is the oasis that lies at the end of my EE-finals desert (or should I say… dessert… yikes). Once my friends and I finished our two toughest EE finals, our first stop post-exams was ice cream. Piece of advice: GET. THE. SUNDAE. You will not regret it.

:’) so beautiful… <3

Crack open a… new board game… with the boiiiiiz!

In between finals, my favorite way to keep my brain happy but somewhat active is by playing board games. It’s more social and more short-term than the deep Netflix slumber that otherwise tempts me after a hard final. My personal favorite would be Codenames—check it out if you geek out over words like I do!

Conquer the most intense mosh pit of your life

asdfasdfasdfBROCKHAMPTON!!! So many great artists come to LA, and there are always new concert venues to discover. Don’t let finals get in the way of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—plus, after the concert, you’ll be so physically exhausted that staying still in one place to study for hours on end sounds feasible. Remember, if you can survive a five-hour mosh pit without passing out, you can absolutely sit through a few two-hour finals!

The before photo

The after photo… yes that is sweat…

Retail therapy—thrift the stress away

Two words: THRIFTCON. LA. (Is that technically three? I dunno…) This falls under the category of “things that will only ever exist in LA that you absolutely know you should take advantage of before you graduate and never ever get to do again”… *cough cough* SENIOR CRISIS. Anyways, nothing distracts you from the stress of finals like searching through piles and piles of weird things with a history 20 years older than you. I personally am a big fan of trying on the weirdest outfits I can muster together, looking through vinyl collections for two hours, and trying to find the best cheap finds.

Get your nervous energy out at the gym, or meditate

Whether it’s kickboxing or meditation, exercise is a form of mindfulness that leaves you in a better mindset afterwards no matter what—it’s chemistry. USC’s gym classes have never failed me, and if finals are getting me down, doing Zumba or yoga with friends is a foolproof way to make myself relaxed.

To end on a cliché, you won’t remember that scary final in five years, but you will remember having all the breath crushed blissfully out of your lungs while screaming BROCKHAMPTON lyrics. Take time for fun during finals. Do it.



Madelyn Douglas

Madelyn Douglas

MAJOR: Electrical (Computer) Engineering YEAR: Class of 2020 HOMETOWN: Bethseda, Maryland PRONOUNS: she/her/hers