Finals week is known to kick students’ ass. No matter what else is going on, the week always tends to creep up and with so much to do, the last thing on people’s minds is a target run. However, it might prove useful to make sure that you have all the essentials to make the most of the week. Here are my five top recommendations of things that are a student’s best friend during finals:
1. A Sleeping Aid
Sleeping aids and finals week can seem contradictory to some. As notorious as it can be for pulling late nights, the actual week on finals can seem like a lighter load if you make it one. By putting in some more work the week before finals you’re going to be able to make sure you have enough time to get enough sleep the week of. However, if that work means pulling some late nights the days prior there’s a good chance your sleep schedule will already be off. That’s why using some natural sleeping aids like melatonin or a sleepy time tea can really help. Target has a large range of different stuff so no matter your situation or price range you should be able to find something that works for you. One of the best ways to make sure you can take these finals as clear-headed and focused as you can is getting enough sleep, so make sure to prioritize that.
2. Things to Eat
A good study session snack is sometimes the boost you need to finish off the night. The same thing can be said about finals. Especially when you might have multiple finals back to back it’s a good idea to have something to eat in between them to give you some extra energy so you don’t find yourself too tired to do your best. Some of my favorites are some type of beverage because it’s an easy thing to take with you and is quick to drink so you don’t have an excuse not to. Currently, I’m obsessed with the white Glacier Cherry Gatorade, Arizona Green Tea, or the Good and Gather citrus-flavored water. For food, I’m loving Smartfood’s white cheddar popcorn, the Snack Factory’s dark chocolate covered pretzels, and the cheddar flavor of Chex Mix. All of these are easy to eat and things I genuinely enjoy so it’s going to make sure I don’t forget to eat even when my focus is elsewhere.
3. A Place to See Your Schedule
When trying to memorize everything you can and get final papers or projects as polished as possible, keeping track of your schedule will be a huge benefit to you. This could look a lot of different ways like a weekly planner, a monthly calendar, even a whiteboard, or something as small as a post-it note. No matter what it is, the main goal is the same: to make sure you know exactly when everything is, and what you need to do to make sure you’re ready. I love using something that gives me ample space to write under every day of the week. Then, the week before finals I always like to sit down and think backwards, planning out what I am going to do to study for each test and revise every paper. The more specific I am when it comes to planning out these small steps, the more confident I am in my overall study plan and the better I feel after finishing everything.
4. Something to Get Off Screens
This year especially with most schools relying much heavier on technology to help facilitate class and finals, screens can take up much more of the day than they should. Everyone nowadays seems to know the headache that can come from having to sit and look at a screen for too long and when focusing on finals so hard, it’s hard to step away. It can even make a person feel guilty for not spending most of their time studying. It’s important to remember that taking a break is important and so gifting yourself something to do can help. This could be a ton of different things like a short puzzle, a book you’ve been wanting to read, even some self-pampering materials like a facemask or a pedicure kit. These things will get you thinking of things other than school for some time which will help your mind rest and prepare for finals week.
5. A Treat for Later…and Now
With how stressful the week itself can be and all the anticipation that’s built up around it, making sure you are giving yourself something special is important. Doing so before finals is vital, to acknowledge how much work you’ve already put in and give yourself a pat on the back. For these types of things, I like to get myself something that I can consistently see during the week to act as a reminder. Something like a pair of new cute or fuzzy socks, a piece of jewelry that I’ve been wanting, or a little desk trinket. Then, it helps me remember that no matter how unprepared I feel, that I have an entire semester of progress behind me, and how I do is the best I could do. Then, at the end of the week, I love to fully celebrate. This is when I look for something that I’ve been wanting to indulge in for a little bit but have always made excuses not to. A common one as of late has been a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. It’s important to give yourself a break once finals are over and to put everything school-related out of your mind even for a night.
Even though it seems impossible for finals week to be anything other than stressful, if prepared right, it can go smoother than a lot of people fear. Making your environment as friendly as possible to you is going to be important to ensure you are the most prepared you can be, so adding a couple of enhancements to your space and routine should be something to consider.