The school year is coming to a close and summertime is (finally) in sight. It’s nearly time to throw on those shades and head to the pool for hours on end. But, before the three month-long hiatus can begin, college students have to make it through the looming week of exams, papers, and projects known by two of the worst words ever: finals week.
While finals week is never fun, there are ways one can make it bearable. (Don’t roll your eyes—I promise, it’s true!) Check out our tips and tricks to help you sail smoothly through the most dreaded week of the year (and hopefully snatch up a few A’s in the process).
(Photo via laviajamani)
Pick a good study space. While grabbing a table at Starbucks with your friends with snacks and coffee at-hand sounds like fun, surrounding yourself with other people can make it hard to focus. Make sure to find a study space that is quiet and distraction-free; whether that’s in the confines of your own room or in a quiet corner of the library. Know what kind of space is best for your studying needs (which might be different than an environment to satisfy your social needs).
Triple check your exam schedule. Know how many exams you have and what times they are at. While this may sound silly, it won’t be funny when you show up for your 8 a.m. exam on Wednesday to find out it was actually on Tuesday.
Make a studying schedule. Analyze each class individually then as a whole. From there, you can plan out exactly how much you to prepare for each final, and delegate the appropriate studying time for all of them. For example, you may be a whiz at Econ (side note, if this is you, who are you?), but may need to dedicate more time to the thorn in your side known as Renaissance Literature. Creating a schedule will help you focus on one project or exam at a time and help you avoid any additional stress.
(Photo via @sarahgargano29)
Set aside some time for yourself. Whether it’s taking an hour to watch an episode of your favorite TV show (keyword is one; no binge-watching!), going out to dinner with friends, popping into a yoga class, or simply scrolling through Instagram for a few minutes, breaks are essential if you want to keep your cool during all the finals week chaos. A little bit of downtime will allow you to clear your mind and recharge for your next studying push.
Back up your work. While for a lot of us finals week means exam after exam (after exam), final papers and projects are a big part of it too. Make sure to constantly save your work—and in multiple places. Save to your hard drive, a flash drive, and email your work to yourself. You never know when technology might fail you, and finals week is not the time to let it get the best of you. (Photo via @tstacyy)
Eat well. With such a busy schedule, it may be tempting to order takeout or make a quick trip through the drive-thru. As delicious as a chicken fingers and fries may sound, the post meal carb crash isn’t doing you or your study sessions any favors. During finals you need all the extra brain power you can get. Try to eat healthy foods that are nourishing and high in fiber. And definitely do not skip meals. You may feel like you are too busy to eat but simply munching on some fruits or vegetables can help you stay energized.
Sleep. Be sure to set aside time for a full night’s rest (six to seven hours, at least). Without sleep, it will be more difficult for you to retain information, and sleep deprivation can lead to headaches or heightened stress levels. Definitely avoid all-nighters—chances are you will not retain the information you spent so many hours trying to absorb, and you will go into your exam feeling exhausted. (Photo via @asmillz)
Have any additional tips to survive finals week? Let us know in the comments below!