Once again, finals week has snuck up on college kids around the country like Jason Momoa on the red carpet.
They're scary. They're sneaky. And if they were in human form, they would have the same evil smile as Aquaman. Even so, we gotta do what we gotta do. Finals are a part of college, so we might as well make the best of them.
But have no fear! They don't have to cause sleep-stealing stress and unstoppable anxiety. Here are a few tips on how to handle finals like a pro, or at least better than that kid you found passed out on his textbook in the library that one afternoon:
1. Always bring extra work with you.Giphy
Whether you are headed to class or running errands, always have homework nearby! Who knows when some unexpected free time could pop up? Maybe your class gets early and you finally get to finish the final pages of that book you were supposed to read a month ago. Maybe you have to wait a few extra minutes before meeting with your professor and finally have time to look back over your notes from that day when you just weren't feeling it. Maybe you have an hour between classes where you normally catch up on Snapchats and scroll through Instagram. This seems like a great opportunity to get ahead on that final project you have due in a week or two. Every minute counts, and it's important to make good use of your time in the weeks leading up to finals.
2. Do NOT live in the library.Giphy
It is so easy to trick yourself into thinking a full day in the library is necessary to complete the long list of projects, papers, and presentations as the semester draws to a close. Do not believe this! If you stay in one spot, you may tire quickly and become unproductive. Before the craziness begins, make a list of study spots. My list has five places, allowing me to have a routine change of scenery while still being in a location with little to no distractions.
3. Take that break!Giphy
You. Need. Sleep. Don't survive off of energy drinks and coffee. It will only hurt you in the long-run. Instead of trying to stay awake all ours, take a break! Get a regular night's sleep. If you hit a mid-day slump, don't feel the shame of taking a nap. Does your brain feel like mush? Watch a re-run of your favorite show on Netflix. Whatever you do, don't burn yourself out. Finals is not an excuse to ruin your mental state, so don't let it.
4. Set aside time for your social life.
If you are like me, you know the difficulty in saying "no" to hanging out with friends. Sure, I have a major test tomorrow, but- all the girls on my hall are going out to get ice cream! How do you expect me to resist that!? Well, you don't always have to say "no," just know your limits. If you are ahead on work, it's okay to have a night out. If you have been studying for two hours straight, it's okay to catch up with Snapchat. Don't torture yourself; just be productive.
5. Make smaller "to do" lists.Giphy
Three weeks before finals, I had the bright idea of writing down every assignment I have to turn in until the end of the semester. While this was nice to look at in terms of planning out my weeks, it put much more stress on my shoulders than necessary. I still have that list (and have almost half the items crossed off,) but I also make smaller lists of what I need to do on a daily basis. When making a "to do" list, aim high, but be realistic. Have confidence in your ability to complete tasks, but don't place unnecessary stress on your day. Pace yourself!
Stress makes people do (and eat) weird things! When in the heat of finals week, it's okay to indulge in a bowl of Lucky Charms for dinner, or skip the salad, but make sure it is within reason. Unhealthy eating, as well as skipping meals altogether, will only harm your motivation, making you more tired and quicker to lose energy. You have time to eat. If you think you don't, then re-check your schedule. Starving yourself will not make you any more successful.
7. Remember that summer break is almost here!Giphy
The light at the end of the tunnel is near! And by light, I mean the summer sun shining on you as you lay on the beach with the stress of finals far behind you! You will get through this. You will do well. Even if you don't, life will go on. As our friend Dory once said, "Just keep swimming!"