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Five Ways to Stay Focused During Finals

Either finals are already underway, or they’re just over the horizon. With the end of the semester in sight and holidays just around the corner, focusing on papers and exams can be nearly impossible during this time. However, there are some ways to combat all the distractions filling your brain during finals week. Check out five ways my friends and I stay focused during this time of year!


Drop the phone

This isn’t anything new. Everyone, from your parents to psychologists, have all said to put the phone down every once in a while. This advice is even more necessary when you’re trying to study for 4 exams, write three essays, and still stay sane. Even if you choose to keep your phone near you when studying, try to put notifications on silent. Or, set a time limit for studying, and reward yourself with escaping into the social media world for a few minutes (that then turns into hours).

Stay Fit

Even if you think there’s no way you can hit the gym when you’re so stressed, think again. Taking the time to run, lift, complete a quick HIIT workout are all ways to reset your brain. Blasting some of your favorite songs while you’re working out can also help you take a break from all the stress you’re facing, and take the time to breathe!


Pretty simple, right? Even if this is the simplest solution to calm down and refocus your thoughts, many people forget to pay attention to this essential aspect of focus! Take some time to stretch in between study sessions, go to a yoga class, or go outside (hopefully it’s not too cold) and get some fresh air.


Give yourself a break from studying and spend time with your friends. If you’re a junior about to go abroad, spending some quality time with your friends is even more important than before because you won’t see them for a while! Don’t rush meals, stay cooped up in the library, or skip on the Sunday movie night. Make sure to take the time to unwind with your friends because when you’re studying later on, you’ll be able to focus on work and not the missed opportunities with your bffs.

Take a Nap

Even if you may not agree with the advice above, I’m pretty sure many people will agree that taking a nap is essential to focus during finals week. How are you supposed to read an entire book AND write a twenty-page essay when you’ve had about two hours of sleep? If you’re a late-night worker, take some time to nap during the day. Just make sure not to sleep for too long because more work will just start to accumulate! 

Catie Spaulding is a senior Psychology major at Bates College. In her free time, she enjoys playing with puppies, singing the wrong lyrics to almost every song imaginable, admiring squirrels on campus, and eating outrageous amounts of chocolate ice cream.
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