It is the end of the semester, April to be exact. You’re drowning in notes and there are coffee stains all over your white shirt. Your hair isn’t brushed and your eyes have bags that are too swollen to cover up. You’re running on three hours of sleep and take-out is your new best friend. Finals week. The most dreaded week of all has arrived, and it’s hard to determine if one can even survive. How does one get through such a week without considering keeping their waitress job for the rest of their life, thinking that it just might be okay? Well, I’m here to tell you that procrastination and Adderall is not the way to go. Success does not involve coffee stains. Success does not involve lack of sleep. Success involves taking care of yourself and taking situations one step at a time.
1. Get Enough SleepIt may seem like a good idea to pop a little caffeine pill the night before an exam and cram all night long, but in the long run, that will affect your health and your mental capacity in a negative way. Staying up all night to study will not only keep you sleep deprived, but you won’t retain any of the information that you studied. The next day you will be sitting in your exam, and you will be so tired that it will be difficult to focus on any of the information. Instead of doing the typical procrastination method that every college student seems to think actually works, try taking an hour or two out of your day, a week or two before the exam to study the information. If it’s a lot of information, organize it so you’re studying one small section one day, and another small section the next. That way, the night before the exam, the information will be drilled into your brain and you will have a peaceful eight hours of sleep
2. Eat well
I know it seems unnecessary, but eating well will give you energy to get through the week. Grabbing fast food on-the-go because you feel you don’t have enough time to cook a decent meal will just make you feel crappy, causing you to not feel energized when studying. If you follow the non-procrastination method I discussed in the last point, you will have time to cook decent food. Aside from that, breakfast is so important. Never skip breakfast. Ever. I cringe anytime someone tells me, “I’m not a breakfast person,” or, “I don’t wake up in time for breakfast.” Make time. Breakfast will give you the energy you need to get through the day. Skipping breakfast will only make you feel drained and tired. Don’t just grab something, “on-the-go,” though. Wake up giving yourself enough time to eat a balanced breakfast. Cook some eggs with a nice, fresh slice of tomato and a steaming cup of green tea. Try it once and see how much better you feel. You’ll be ready to take on anything that comes your way.
3. Study breaks are a thing
You need to give your brain time to rest. If you overwork your brain, you’re not going to retain the information. Every couple hours, get up from your studying, and take a break. I usually exercise. It doesn’t have to be anything intense, it could even be taking a walk around the neighborhood. Go for a run if it’ll help you get your mind off of the stress of finals for a little bit. Sometimes even just going out to eat with a friend is enough to do the trick to refresh your brain for another round of studying.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself during stressful situations. We’re all in college. We all know what it is like to wake up one day and all of a sudden be drowning in tests, projects and homework assignments. We all know what it is like to want to give up and find a profession that doesn’t require a degree. I promise, if you take care of yourself, and follow some of the points that I outlined for you, finals week won’t seem so terrifying. After all, Finals week is just another step into the direction of achieving your life long goals. Stress kills, don’t give into it.