So it's the finals week before summer break. The dark cloud blocking the hot June sun. The last obstacle to total freedom. The week of your life that will haunt your dreams even after you've got that distinguished slip of paper we call a diploma.
But finals week doesn't have to be that bad. If you practice the right study habits, stress-free finals are right around the corner.
#1: Customize your study packet.
If you're taking a survey of Romantic poetry and you had a great time with Byron but a not-so-great time with Wordsworth, make sure to account for your difference in understanding. This isn't to say don't study what you're familiar with—it never hurts to review—but spend more time studying the concepts you don't know very well.
#2: Make sure to get plenty of sleep.
This study tip is extremely simple and yet just as difficult to accomplish. All-nighters are way too tempting, but boy are they ineffective. Sleep makes the difference between looking at information and absorbing information. Take naps, go to bed before midnight, and don't assume caffeine will solve all your problems. Too much of that can cause mood swings and stress, which you definitely don't want.
#3: Make a study schedule, and stick with it.
Nothing is worse than realizing you've wasted an entire day browsing the web. But not setting aside time for yourself can be just as bad. That's why it's important to make a schedule: if you decide to study from 10:00 to 1:00 and 4:00 to 7:00, you won't feel bad when it's 9pm and you're watching the latest episodes of Bob's Burgers—after all, you did squeeze in six solid hours of studying.
#4: Practice your de-stressing techniques.
I know it's important to stick to a schedule, but if you're suddenly feeling overwhelmed and anxious, drop whatever you are doing and take a jog, drink some tea, do yoga, or take a cat nap. Trying to study through stress is extremely ineffective, so always make sure do de-stress yourself in whichever way works for you. Try to avoid watching videos or browsing the web, though. Those methods can quickly turn into time-sucks.
#5: Find a place where you can focus.
Most likely, this place will not be, and should not be, a dorm room. If you are surrounded by distractions—be it books, videogames, or friends—you will simply not get in as much studying as possible. When you need to study on a computer, try to use a computer in a lab or in the library. This will prevent you from being tempted by bookmarked social media websites and entertaining programs you have installed.
#6: Eat healthy.
Ok, so we're all starving college students, and it's so much easier to grab a pack of ramen noodles than it is to prepare a nice slice of avocado toast (no matter how much our millennial minds are addicted to it). But junk food leaves us feeling lethargic and generally crappy, whereas fruits and whole grains give us the energy we need. If you're running low on cash, there's a whole list of inexpensive and healthy foods available at almost every supermarket.
#7: Remember that the end of the world is not nigh.
It is unbelievably easy to psych yourself out. You might need a 93 to get a B; you might have lost important information; you might believe that you didn't study enough; etc. Everybody feels this way, and there's nothing wrong with being anxious. Even if the worst should occur—whatever it may be for you—you're going to be okay.