How To Help Your Partner During Finals Week When You're Both Stressed Out

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I miss college. I miss having minimal adult responsibilities, living within walking distance of all of my friends, and drinking beers forever. I also miss eating that weirdly excellent turkey brie panini from the best dining hall. There is one collegiate thing, however, that I do not miss: finals. My college nostalgia does not even apply the Hogwarts-esque library I pulled all-nighters in. Studying is exhausting, time-consuming, and stressful. Finals mean everyone you love is also as grouchy as you are. So it makes sense that you want to help your partner during finals, even if you're in the thick of them as well. But also: Are you a saint?

While caring for your partner is obviously a great thing to want to do, I want to put my mom-hat on for a second: Finals are important, and you should prioritize studying for yours before taking care of your partner. You can be there for them while still getting that 4.0. The week of finals is an extremely stressful time in the semester, and it’s very easy to lose sight of anything other than the five tests you have over the next three days, but you can make it through! And so can your partner.

If you want to help your partner out, but you don't know how, a really great place to start your brainstorm is to be self-involved and ask yourself: “What would help me de-stress during finals week?” My personal answer to that is absolutely anything remotely comforting. Whether that’s surprising your partner at the library or getting them a full-blown massage, any gesture during finals can serve as a really great way to remember that there are other amazing things in your life, and that finals do have an endpoint. Here are some ideas.

1Surprise Them With A Beverage

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But probably not a beer. (Alcoholic beverages don't pair well with study guides, and anyway, the librarian might frown on that.) During finals I used to use the promise of a yummy beverage or a snack as the light (treat) at the end of the tunnel to help me get through my study session. (I am a child.) If someone brought me an iced coffee, I would fall a little bit in love with them. Surprise your partner with a caffeinated beverage they love. It’s a small gesture, but it will brighten their mood.

2Plan A Low-Key Date Night

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Usually during finals (smart) college students press pause on their raging in order to focus on the task at hand. (It’s really hard to study with a hangover.) However, if you study for a week straight sans social interactions, you might cry. Breaks are important! You and your partner probably have different test schedules, and don’t have all that much time to see each other. Find one night that you can both sit down and watch that new cult documentary on Netflix, or even go to the movies or to dinner. Having something to look forward to together can take the edge off.

3Send Them Photos Of Adorable Puppies

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This is a stress reliever for both you and your partner. You get the pleasure of Googling sweet pups and your partner gets an adorable GIF every hour on the hour. If you want to upgrade the puppy-sending, check if your school has therapy dogs coming to campus during finals, track down that family friend who lives nearby with a dog, or go visit a local shelter. But adorable pictures will do wonders as well.

4Do An Annoying Task For Them

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Whether that means doing your partner's laundry, making their bed, or running to the post office for them, doing any one tiny thing to help them out is an easy and kind gesture that will mean the world to them. During finals, how awesome is it when you check off even one thing from your to do list? Again, make sure to prioritize your to-do list first. Then you can be sweet AF. Like flight attendants always say: Make sure to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others around you.