If you’re like me, finals week means little to no sleep, a lot of stress, and boatloads of caffeine. As a senior, you’d think I’d know better by now, but I’ve spent my college career under the assumption that a healthy and sane finals week is an oxymoron. Before I graduate in May, I’m determined to break the cycle of the toxic finals week. But how does one accomplish this? I turned to the Internet for some helpful tips. Lo and behold, I found some solid advice on how NOT to lose your mind during the stressful, tail end of a semester. In recognition of my fellow students’ time limitations this week, I whittled my list to four worthwhile tips:
If you are living a healthy lifestyle already, now is not the time to give that up. Even if you think you don’t have the time right now, exercising could be something as quick and simple as a 10 minute walk. Afterward, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to get back to the books.
2. Make a to-do list and prioritize your assignments and tests
You use a planner (hopefully) to keep track of your assignments anyway; this is just an additional step that will make that mountain of work seem more manageable. Start by making a giant list of everything you either need to complete or study for within the next week and its due date. Then, look back at your syllabi to see how assignments or tests are weighted. There’s no point in stressing over one assignment that’s worth 5% of your total grade while skipping study time for a test that may be worth 25%. Once you rank your assignments by weight, your to-do list will turn strategic.
3. Balance your time
Burn out is a major threat to finals week success. To fight it off, be sure to schedule time to take a break and do something you enjoy. If you follow the previous tip, you’ll already know when everything is due, so you can pinpoint pockets of free time. Just be sure you can stick to your schedule, and that you don’t turn your 30 minutes of fun time into three hours and body shots at the bar.
I know, when I first came across this tip, it seemed to go against everything finals week has come to symbolize. There’s a reason college kids are known for pulling all nighters during finals; it’s just what you do when you’ve got a massive project due the next day, or you need to cram for that insane Biology test. In reality though, cramming will only cause your brain to muddle and confuse all of the information you’ve packed into it, according to the University of Arizona. Bottom line: a lack of sleep leads to a confused brain. Trust me on this one, just go to bed. Your brain and final grade will thank you in the morning.
I hope you found my short list helpful. If you’ve got a finals week survival tip you’d like to share with us, just drop it in the reply section below. Happy finals!