This One Tip Could Change Your Finals Season

It’s crunch time, people! When this semester started three months ago, I was counting down the days until every break. Now that winter break is in sight, though, I want to put my calendar away and hide from the fact that there are only three weeks left in this semester (and four weeks left in 2018!!).


Unfortunately, hiding from our assignments is not the best idea at this time of year. What I’ve learned from my finals experiences is that a plan of attack is key—otherwise, you’ll be stuck writing two papers, producing a ten-minute video and cramming for a test on December 20th when all you want to do is sip some hot chocolate and enjoy yourself!


My one tried-and-true finals tip is not for the faint of heart, but trust me, it works for procrastinators and non-procrastinators alike. It’s called “The Napkin Schedule.” The reason it’s named that is because during finals last year, my friends and I were talking at lunch about all of the deadlines we had to meet, and we were getting pretty anxious, so we decided to write everything that we need to do on a napkin (because that’s what we had in front of us). Of course, you probably should use a large piece of paper or a Google Doc for this.


In my opinion, The Napkin Schedule works because you can see everything that you have to do laid out in front of you. Then, you sketch out a plan for each day, outlining when you need to start studying or paper-writing. Organizing yourself ahead of time and setting clear goals helps you to actually accomplish things and be less stressed about the many deadlines looming.


Whether you follow the schedule or not, just having made it will help you since you’ll be a bit more aware of everything that’s going on than if you had just waited until the day before everything was due to think about it.


While this method is not for everyone, it really changed the way I approach finals season, and hopefully can help you be successful as this semester ends. Just remember that Done is Good and that your personal best is just as amazing as anyone else’s!