Students around the country are preparing for their final exams! These exams make up 30-50% of your grade and can make or break your GPA! It is stressful, and if you haven’t cried yet, you most likely have thought about it. This 7 day period can really take a toll on your physical and mental health. We’ve compiled a list of 10 things you need to do in order to make it through this week.
10 Tips For Finals Week Survival
- Plan and Prioritize! Finals, specifically in college, have a schedule all on its own. You may have a final that is on a different date/time than you normally meet. Make sure you DOUBLE CHECK that you have the right date and time for your finals. Missing them would be detrimental. Then use the time between tests to study. Prioritize what information is most important.
- Hydrate. (This may or may not be synonymous with caffeinate). Bring your water bottle with you everywhere! Your body, especially your brain, needs you to stay hydrated. I would suggest staying away from sugary drinks too much. They give you instant energy but water will keep your body going for longer periods of time.
- Snack on healthy things. I went to the vending machine this week at the library, only to find one thing left: a cliff bar. I came for Doritos, and I got a cliff bar. At first I was mad, but I realized that this energy granola bar was much better for me. Vegetable cups were my snack the rest of the week. Give your brain what it wants! Nutrients, not sugary poison.
- Take Breaks. Every hour or so, your brain needs a reset. Give your eyes and your brain a break. Do not look at a book or a screen for a while. It is best to go outside for a few minutes if possible, but even a lap around the library floor will do.
- Sleep. Sleep is SO important, I cannot stress this enough. Your brain cannot function properly if you are running on 2 hours of sleep. (Trust me I tried it). If you feel like you cannot sleep for eight hours, then try to fit in power naps. Caffeine cannot replace sleep!
- Use Study Groups. Message classmates and plan study groups the days leading up to your final. Sharing information with each other is a great way to retain it (especially for you auditory learners).
- Find Your Study Jams. I need music when I am studying. I use Spotify or Amazon Music! Create a playlist of instrumental music and then get to work! If you find music distracting, I suggest plugging in headphones and listening to rain sounds or a white noise maker.
- Exercise. It is hard enough to find time to sleep, but you need to make time for another thing: exercise. I’m not saying to fit in an hour long workout at the gym, but by exercising during finals week, you are increasing the blood flow to your brain and your time studying with be more efficient. Try taking walks on your brain break or sitting on a yoga ball for part of your studies.
- Talk To People. During my busy weeks, I tell myself I do not have the time to talk to people. This is a huge mistake and can “burn you out” faster than you would think. We are humans who need emotional support. Call your mom, rant to your roommates, and have some human interaction so your head doesn’t explode with equations and essays.
- Focus on what you can control. You cannot control the time, the test questions, and you certainly cannot control the professor. Take the time you have and make it worth it. Stop whining about things you cannot control, and focus on what you can: your effort!
Finals are hard but you will get through it. Try to remember these steps to help you, not just survive your finals week, but to do well during finals. The world isn’t over, even if you fail a class. Remember why you are here. You are working towards your graduation to better your life. You are doing great things and keep up the good work!
Now go ace those finals!
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