Dom Quaglia

How to Stay Balanced During Finals

Do you ever have days so jam-packed that you feel like you hardly have time to stop and breath? The alarm clock goes off; you shoot out of bed, inhale a pop-tart, peel out of the neighborhood, and make record time to school just to lunge into your seat as the bell is ringing. And the day is only just beginning.

When life gets crazy, it can be difficult to prioritize. During finals, this is especially true. After a while of this, it's easy to get exhausted and start to believe you don't have what it takes to succeed. And then being healthy and feeling whole on top of all that is pretty challenging in the midst of a crazy schedule.

How are you going to manage everything? How do you remain healthy, whole, and holy during this crazy time?

Don't: Stop Praying

Maintaining a good rhythm of prayer is key. Daily mass, rosary, liturgy of the hours … however you pray, keep at it! We can't sacrifice our dialogue and communication with our Heavenly Father. It's our very breath as Christians.

Breathing doesn't become less important as our physical tasks get more difficult; it becomes more important. It's the same with prayer. It will most likely seem impossible to find time for a lot of prayer during finals week. I urge you to make it work.

It doesn't have to be a rosary before each class. (That might literally be impossible.) But you're never too busy to stop and ask for God's blessing and worship Him for His goodness. He loves you no matter what grade you get. It can be simple. St. Therese said, 'For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; a simple glance turned towards Heaven.'

Do: Rest and Be Real

Getting to bed on time, being responsible during the day, studying hard, and being honest will do wonders for you. If you fail on the first three, being honest will be much harder to do.

Cheating is very popular these days and we've all been tempted to do it. In the past, I've rationalized cheating in school. I failed to prepare properly and was 'forced' to cheat. It's easy to brush it off and convince ourselves there's nothing wrong with it.

Ultimately, cheating is dishonest. It's claiming to know the answers you actually don't and you could get in a lot of trouble. And you don't feel good or accomplished after cheating … two signs that you shouldn't be doing it.

You Don't Have to Be Perfect

Staying whole, holy, and healthy in the midst of your final exams won't be easy. It will seem overwhelming. Sometimes wholeness challenges me because it seems to require so much. It's like spiritual multi-tasking. The truth is, wholeness is much simpler than that. Wholeness isn't about doing everything perfectly; it's about doing everything you do for the Perfect one. To be whole is to have God at the center of your life.

Our work will be more fruitful if we put Christ first. Our hearts will be more whole if we put Christ first.

Remember Matthew 6:33. Seek God and seek the good that will build His kingdom. The rest will fall into place. Remember you are the beloved. Be loved.

Dom Quaglia

About the Author

I try to say ‘yes’ to God each morning and He gives me crazy opportunities. I made it to the spelling bee three times and lost, but never got diskeraged. I love the beach, Italian food, and guitar solos. Unfortunately I can’t surf, cook, or play guitar. I take life one step at a time and try to enjoy it!