We’re coming up on the scariest time of our lives, guys: finals week. Instincts tell us to run or to pick up our weapons and fight this evil, but conventional weapons just won’t work this time. However, there are some things you can try to get out of the battle alive. Here are your weapons. It’s up to you to use them wisely. Good luck.
Figure out what is the most important and work down from there. That way, if you don’t get to something, it’s not the important five page paper that’s worth a third of your grade. Save anything that isn't necessary for last.
2. Utilize the university’s amenities
Writing center, PAL, library, Tutoring centers. Colleges don’t set all of this up just for the looks. They want to help you.
3. Buy a planner
Even if you don’t think you need a calendar, writing things down with an ideal deadline motivates you to get it done. Also, it can never hurt to have everything written down in one place. Once you get overwhelmed, things can get forgotten.
4. Get a white board
Or you can write deadlines on a whiteboard, or whiteboard calendar. Hang it somewhere that you will read it everyday. You’ll never forget to do an assignment again.
5. Leave your room
If you try to do everything in the same space, you’ll never get into the state of mind to get stuff done. Sometimes I can get everything done sitting on my bed, or at my desk, but when I have a lot to do, I find it best to find a change of scenery.
6. Take breaks
You can’t stare at a screen or a book all day long. You need to rest your mind. Get a snack, go for a walk, call your mom and cry because of all the work left ahead. Anything to give your mind a little break.
7. Stay hydrated
Make sure to drink plenty of water while you work and study. It may not feel like it until after, but working out your brain can sometimes be as taxing as working out your body.
8. Switch between subjects
You could spend a whole day studying the biology of the body, but that might be a bit overwhelming. To keep your mind fresh and get the most out of studying, switch between subjects. Separate the material into subcategories and focus on one at a time.
9. Learn to say no
Now is not the time to pile on the good deeds. Your friends or clubs may be asking things of you that, normally, you wouldn't even think twice about. Until finals are over, however, you need to prioritize.
10. Work with friends
Personally, when I’m overwhelmed during finals week, I get the most work done surrounded by others doing their work. Friends can help pressure each other to stay on track.
11. Visualize the end
You could throw together a crappy paper at 3 am, but the guilt will get to you when the grades come back. Skip the party or take a shorter nap and put in the effort you’ll be proud of.
12. Take care of yourself
Grades can seem like the only thing that matters during finals week, but that’s not true. You need sleep and food. You need to make sure not to ignore your basic needs and keep yourself sane.
It will all be over soon.