10 Tips to Help You Stay Focused, Because Finals Have Officially Started

April 17th, 2018 at 2:00am
How to Stay Focused

With the end of the semester nearing, the longing for summer break can often distract us from our responsibilities. Procrastination often becomes our closest friend in the final month of a semester, and with finals around the corner, it becomes difficult to remind ourselves of our priorities. There is also a lot of stress around the time of finals, so we often struggle to concentrate on the task at hand. Whether you’re busy writing long end-of-term papers or studying for exams, we’ve collected a few tips from our community members on how they stay focused during the week of finals.

• Plan your studying: “I always make a planner specifically for finals week,” says Breanna Cordero, a student at Grand Canyon University, “I’ll divide up what’s due by what’s most important for me to study, what’s least important, and [if there are] any extra assignments I can do to make myself feel more comfortable with my grade.” 

• Create lists: “Writing out everything you have to do and following a list helps you stay focused on what needs to be done,” says Sofia Zabala, a student at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. “The feeling of checking something off once done is like heaven on earth!”

• Wear comfortable clothes: Rachel Alexander, a student at Biola University says, “Wear comfortable clothes, but also make sure you get dressed, as it helps boost your mood and help you feel energized.” Avoid lounging in your pajamas all day, because it can make you think it’s nap time, rather than think time. Go for a casual day in look with your favorite pair of jeans and a plain tee.

• Prepare your study snacks: Kristen Lavan, a student at John Paul the Great University, says, “I sometimes use food as an escape when I’m studying, so preparing snacks beforehand will allow me to stay working.” Go for some energy-boosting treats, like nuts, eggs, or a chia seed-filled snack. Avoid foods that will make you sluggish throughout the day.

• Choose the right location: “Where I choose to study can have a large effect on how much studying I actually get done,” says Casey Nalley, a senior at the University of Kentucky, “Find a study location that works for you, free of distraction, not overcrowded, and comfortable.”

Turn off your notifications: Viviana Moreno, a student at the University of Florida, says “Putting my phone on do not disturb & letting friends or family know that I’m studying helps remove distractions.” Try just turning off any distracting notifications, or utilize the “Do Not Disturb” or “Airplane Mode” features on your phone.

• Choose great tunes: Having a playlist that is as determined as you are can keep you on task. Magely Martinez, a student from John Paul the Great University, says, “I listen to music to keep a constant reminder to keep pushing myself until the work is done.” 

• Take a break: Taking some time to let yourself relax during a study sesh or writing papers can be very useful. “It allows me to reset my brain for the next [paper/exam],” Says Natalie Geisel, a student at George Washington University, “Just grabbing a bite to eat, relaxing with friends, or even just watching a single episode on Netflix is all it takes for my mind to prepare”

• Talk to your professor: Finals week is a rough time to wrap your brain around everything you’ve learned that semester, but that’s what our professors are for. “Don’t be afraid to talk to professors,” says Harbor College student Elena Dueñas. “They’re the ones teaching the subject, so they’ll be more than happy to help you.” And if your professor is too busy, there are always tutors on campus that are also willing to help you with any questions you have.

• Meditate: With finals, there is often a lot of stress that builds up in us. Morgan Percy, a student at UMass Amherst says, “I love going to meditation once or twice a during finals week. It’s refreshing to clear your mind and focus on nothing but your breath.”

• Have something exciting planned: The end of finals is certainly something to look forward to, so try planning something exciting for when you finally complete your tasks. Tori Lavan, a student at the University of Bristol says, “Making sure I have something to look forward to by the end of the week help keeps me on task.” Take a day trip with some pals, go to the beach, or finally get around to reading that book you’ve been eyeballing for months.

Finished studying for finals, but no time to do your hair? These lightning-fast hairstyles will help.

Featured image by @vanessa.medel


  • Ana Acosta

    Ana is a sophomore at Palomar College studying Journalism with a possible emphasis in Public Relations. She is a writer, but when she's not writing, she loves listening to music, shopping, watching my favorite TV shows & movies, and dreaming of living in Paris.