It's the most wonderful time of the year!...well, almost.
As Christmas lights go up, and holiday banquets and celebrations commence, classes are wrapping up and finals are quickly approaching. Yes, the dreaded finals week--the week where sleep takes a back seat and coffee becomes as important as air. But, you know, it doesn’t have to be as stressful as some might make it seem. You see, it’s all about balance.
Here are some of my tips to surviving finals week, midterms, or just a time when you’re in so in so many classes and involved in so many organizations you feel like you might explode.
1. Get some sleep.
Yeah. I know, I just said finals week was the week when sleep takes a back seat. Personally, I think that being sleep deprived during finals week is one of the worst things that could happen. Work in naps, go to bed at relatively the same time, but please sleep!
2. Drink lots of water and take your vitamins.
I know this sounds a little mom-ish, but seriously…what could be worse than coming down with the flu or a cold during finals week?...well, besides being sleep deprived.
3. Take a little time to relax.
You might feel like you have to devote 100% of your every waking moment to your papers, projects and study sheets, but as important as this is, it is important to make sure to take a few minutes to just sit and breath. Maybe take half an hour to watch an episode of a tv show you like, have some tea, or call your grandma! Just do a little something to remind yourself that finals aren’t really taking over your life.
4. Start studying way sooner than you think you should.
Maybe catch up on your reading, or make study sheets or flash cards over Thanksgiving Break (or during a week when you have less to do than usual). Get a jump start and when it actually comes time to study, you will feel extra prepared and not as overwhelmed.
5. Ask for help.
If there is a concept or problem you just can’t seem to get the hang of or if you just have a simple question, make sure to be in contact with your professors and/or TAs. They are there to help you and make this easier on you, really! They don’t want to totally trick you on their final, they want you to succeed. So, just go ask! A lot of them even extend their office hours during finals.
6. Remind yourself it’s just a test.
I know, I know. Maybe this sounds a little too lax. But, it is just a test.
7. Finally, have something to look forward to.
When you're up to your nose in books and papers, it can seem like it may never end, but having something to look forward to after the finals madness always helps me with motivation. Plan a post-finals celebration with your friends, go out to dinner, get yourself some ice cream, do a gift exchange!
These are just a few of the things that I’ve learned over the years as I was trying to balance class, work, homework, clubs, and my life. It’s my senior year, and guess what? I finally got the hang of it.