Finals are fast approaching and for some of us the hardest things will finding motivation for the final stretch, staying calm despite the last load of work, and working hard to finish to enjoy the freedom of summer. Don't worry, you're not alone in the struggle and here are some things every student needs to hear as finals loom closer.
1. Prioritizing is not the same as procrastinating
If you're like most students, you've got final exams and papers spread out over the whole week (two if you're lucky). Do assignments as they are due. If you have a paper due Monday focus on that and don't stress about having the paper due Wednesday finished too.
2. Coffee is not the same as water
Frequent headaches during exams? Yes, you should sleep more and yes you should completely eat better but your main problem is probably that you're only drinking coffee and energy drinks. Your body needs something to keep you hydrated and this isn't doing it. Make sure to drink water and stay hydrated.
3. Coffee is not a meal replacement
Take a break to make real food (or even just to grab campus food). Your body will thank you and so will your brain. Meal breaks are a good measure for study breaks.
4. Outline. Outline. Outline.
Make sure you know when assignments are due, how they are to be turned in and when you are going to finish them. I recommend a master list of due dates, then a smaller breakdown of what you want to get done when. A 10 page paper on Immanuel Kant's metaphysics due in four days is intimidating. But if you have a solid outline done on day 1, half of the paper done on day 2 and 3, and revisions and loose ends on day 4 you'll feel much better about it.
5. Pace Yourself
Don't sit at the library for 12 hours with no breaks and cram out a paper. Work through multiple assignments to get bits and pieces done at a time.
6. Sleep is more important than grades
Take care of yourself first. Assignments will get done and they can be done well if you're well rested and take care of yourself.
Don't be afraid to ask for extensions, be honest with your professors. Don't be afraid to say "I'm feeling really overwhelmed and I have four other assignments to do the same day. Can I have an extra day or two?"