Finals season is upon us here at the University of Southern California. Libraries are packed, all-nighters are pulled, and excessive amounts of caffeine are consumed. In the midst of all the chaos and stress, how can you balance all the final papers, projects, and final exams? Follow these tips on how to (theoretically) make it through these next few weeks in one piece.
1. Start Early
This suggestion may seem obvious; however, every college student understands the inevitable pull of procrastination. Really, start studying and reviewing early to avoid last minute cramming (also, because cramming is an extremely inefficient AND ineffective way to study and retain information). Even if it's only a few chapters, remember that something is better than nothing.
2. Hit up the Pomodoro Method
My friend taught me this during my senior year of high school and it is a lifesaver. The Pomodoro Method is a time management technique that uses a timer to break down work into small intervals (typically around 25 minutes) with short breaks worked in between. This particular techinque is effective when tackling massive amounts of textbook reading, and it will keep you focused and efficient.
3. Turn off Distractions
Again, similar to starting early, turning off distractions is obvious but necessary. My phone, for example, is one of my biggest distractions and contributors to my procrastination methods (shoutout to the time I wasted two hours watching YouTube documentaries on my tiny iPhone screen). Regardless, whether it be phone or social media sites, shut it off or turn on "do not disturb" mode. Your grades will thank you later.
4. Sleep (Really)
Although "finals" are synonymous with "all-nighters," try to get a decent amount of sleep every night (or take short power naps during the day if you have a late night). The quality of your work is stringent on the amount of sleep you've acquired the night prior; so, do yourself a favor and avoid stupid mistakes on exams by getting some more sleep.
5. Make Time for Yourself
Finals can really feel like a crazy whirlwind with little time to do anything else but grind. Even in light of this, take some time to practice mindfulness--whether it be jotting down a quick journal entry or going on a run at the gym. These breaks will refresh your mind and prepare you to tackle the next major assignment or study guide on your to-do list. Doing well may be important, but so is your mental health.
Take care of yourself, and go crush these last few weeks of first semester!