Finals Week- that special time of year where you forget or don’t have time to eat, you become sleep deprived and panic attacks become a normal occurrence. But it doesn’t have to be this way! I know final exam week is extremely stressful, but take a deep breath because winter break is in your grasp! But for the time being, here are a few tips to help you survive finals week.
Remember to take breaks! They are your friends. I realize that with breaks comes the association with wasting time you could be using to study or work on projects or essays, but if you don’t take breaks you will overwork yourself! Even if your break counts as doing something else productive like doing laundry, taking a shower, making dinner, etc., breaks are needed to relieve stress and to give your brain a break too!
When I see a friend that has overworked themselves to the bone, someone who hasn’t slept in days and has been nonstop studying since last week, I tell them to treat themselves to something special because they deserve it for all their hard work. Reward yourself, because you do deserve it! Go out to dinner, get your favorite dessert, go shopping, go to a movie, whatever you do just relax for one quick second before you have to get back to studying because you have been working hard!
Every Meal Counts
Don’t forget to eat! It sounds silly, but sometimes people get so consumed in what they are doing they forget to eat a meal. There have been times where I am so determined to finish my ten-page paper or to finish studying for that giant exam I have the next day that I forget to eat lunch or dinner! Plan out a schedule or find a place that looks like a good stopping point that you can come back to later so you can go get some food!
Whether you like studying in the library or on your bed, find the place you feel the most comfortable and where you will be able to concentrate the most! If you aren’t comfortable, you waste time figuring out how to get comfortable, then 2 hours pass, and you’re finally comfortable but it’s time to go to bed now! Find your own spot and get comfortable.
Don’t Start Studying the Night Before
Only just starting to study the night before your exam is the worst thing you can do! You will overwhelm yourself, stress yourself out and most likely not do your best work the next day! Study in advance! Make a plan! I advise you to start studying a week in advance-start off studying an hour one day, then continually add time or topics you want to study each day. Then the last few days before the exam, hunker down and study hard! By exam day, you will be completely prepared and not as stressed and forgetful of information because you were extremely prepared.
Don’t Neglect Your Friends
I know it’s finals week and you need to study, but make time to hang out with your friends! This will relieve stress. Don’t get carried away and hang out with them until two in the morning, but don’t forget them because your brain is focused on school. Go to lunch or dinner with them, have a study session or just take a quick walk around town for some fresh air. Your friends are in the same boat as you, so they can relate to what you are going through stress-wise. Remember to make time for friends!
I know you just want to be done with finals and finally on winter break, but for the time being, while it is still finals week, remember to be smart about your time and what you do with it! Keep your head up, you will do great!