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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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!