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Finals are daunting. Especially with our first “real” year back to classes, I know everyone is struggling as they quickly arise.  Below are a few tips to make finals season a little bit easier that I have learned as a senior here at DePauw. 

  1. Start NOW! 

I know you hate this idea.  I hate it, too.  But please trust me, when you start now, it will make finals week so much easier.  If you have a paper and you have the prompt, start outlining now.  A trick I do is count the number of pages it needs to be and divide it by the number of days until it is due.  For example, say you have a twenty-page paper due in ten days.  Divide the numbers, and make it easier on yourself by writing two pages each day until it’s due.  You can add a day if you want one day solely focusing on editing or outlining.  This saves me so much time and stress.  

  1. Take breaks 

I use the Pomodoro method to stay focused but also allow myself time to relax.  I get so much done when I use this method.  My favorite website is Nesto.cc and it is SO helpful.  You have 25 minutes to work with alternating 5-minute breaks in between which you can use to scroll on TikTok or text friends back.  After about an hour of work, you get a 15-minute break.  I like to reward myself during these breaks by watching a bit of a Criminal Minds episode.  Seriously, it helps your productivity so much and keeps you from burnout.  

  1. Organize! 

I use the Stickies app on my laptop to outline my days for the week.  I do this each Sunday to get a visual look at my week ahead.  I recommend doing this now and writing out what you have due, meetings, etc. until the end of the semester, so nothing pops up and surprises you.  

  1. Find the right music 

Major props to you if you can focus and work with Taylor Swift in the background, but I simply cannot.  I will get distracted and I will start singing along, reading the lyrics, anything I can do to distract myself.  I normally listen to classical music while working (it makes me feel smarter) or Lo-Fi.  Or, for a festive selection, I love the channels on YouTube that play instrumental Christmas music with a crackling fireplace in the background.  It makes what I am working towards so much better.  

Remember, you’ve got this.  I believe in you.  You will make it through.  Stay strong, lovelies! 

Hi, I'm Katherine! I'm an Anthropology major. I am a member of the Honors Scholar Program, as well as a Bonner Scholar.
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