10 Ways to Make it Through Finals Week

2 Dec

Finals are probably going to be stressful. There’s a lot of material to cover, and everyone around you is freaking out about their grades too. There are ways to make it a little easier, and not all of them involve studying!

  1. Schedule time to sleep
    giphy-3Because you don’t have classes anymore, it is really easy to get preoccupied with studying and spending time with friends. What helps me is to set a time by which I need to go to bed and set alarms to remind myself that I need to get it done. After four semesters I know that I usually get pretty worn out from studying consistently by 10:30-11PM (without fail) and then I can stay asleep until the sun actually comes up the next day. Getting rest is crucial to actually remember what you studied.
  2. Consume caffeine wisely
    giphy-1When everyone at the library is drinking cup after cup of coffee, it can be tempting to do the same. The thing is, you have to be careful- caffeine can be good and help you stay focused. Drink too much and you’ll probably have a hard time focusing and start getting jittery. Also stay hydrated with water- your brain needs it.
  3. Avoid eating only junk food
    giphy-2At this point in the semester you’re probably running low on money in your meal plan or food budget. Do your best to not stress eat a lot of chips, chocolate, and sugary foods that won’t fill you up. Eating food with nutrients will help you keep going and avoid getting tired or experiencing brain fog.
  4. Double and triple check each syllabus for the details on your finals
    giphy-5If you haven’t looked at your syllabus since the first week (or at all), it’s time to dig it back out. Double check how much your final is worth (points or percentage), when it is taking place, and where so that you’re not confused or lost on finals day. If you don’t know where it is, map it out ahead of time because being lost adds extra stress.
  5. Grab a buddy and check out the Rec Center
    giphy-6Even if you’ve never been to the rec before, exercise is a great way to take a break and also give yourself a chance to refresh your body. You don’t have to run 10 miles or lift a bunch of weights (you can if that’s what you do already), just 15 minutes of some cardio is enough to get the blood flowing throughout your body. The goal is just to refocus your mind. It’s fun to do this with a friend, and the Rec offers free group fitness classes during finals week and is open for extended hours. Check out their Finals Survival Week events here.
  6. Stay off of social media except during scheduled breaks
    giphySocial media is great- it keeps us in touch with people far away, allows for discussion, and who doesn’t like a cute puppy video? If you’re like me, it can be easy to wander onto Facebook or Twitter and then an hour later wonder where all that time went. Schedule short breaks (no more than 10-15 minutes) after about 2 hours of studying or when switching subjects to allow yourself to still feel connected to the world.
  7. Attend study sessions, bonus office hours, and utilize study groups
    giphy (1).gifMany professors, preceptors, and TAs offer extra opportunities for study sessions for finals. Because they are often cumulative, this is a great way to see what information you have retained from the beginning and which cobwebs need dusting off. Go with your classmates and study groups, but remember to be respectful and pay attention. Participation is key- do the practice problems and discuss concepts, you’re much more likely to retain the information.
  8. Go outside and enjoy the nice weather!
    giphyTucson’s nice weather is in full force by the start of December! Grab a coat and take a breath with a short walk outside. It always helps me to get away from the books, clutter in my room, and computer screens. If you have multiple exams you’re studying for at the same time, getting some time with nature in between subjects can help you mentally reset so that you don’t get things mixed up.
  9. Mentally prepare to go back home for the holidays
    Whether you live in the Res Halls and have to go home for four weeks or are just planning on visiting home for the holidays, there’s a lot of logistics to think through. Prepare yourself for questions about how college was and the possibility of not having as much freedom as you do at school. If you’re flying home, remember to arrange transportation to the airport and time to pack your bags.
  10. Breathe
    Most importantly, breathe. You will make it through this week. It may not feel like it, but you will come out alive.

Good luck! You’ve got this!


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