Crushing Finals Week

At the beginning of reading week, you faced a fork in your path: go left, take the week to do absolutely nothing, or go right, study as you are supposed to. Regardless of your choice, you survived reading week and have arrived: finals are upon us. In these days to come, the true end of the semester is approaching quickly, and this can be very exciting or anxiety-inducing, among other sentiments. Here are some tips to get through finals like a boss!


  • Make sure you read everything your professor gives you so that you are fully aware of deadlines, directions, and policies, especially writing that you adhere to the Harvard College Honor Code on certain exams and assignments.

  • Figure out a list – that is not necessarily extensive – of places you like to study. Then, as you study, make sure you move around to new locations throughout the day. Do not become a Lamonster.

  • Make sure you eat, and hold your friends accountable for eating too. Many forsake their health for the sake of their potentially better grade. Keep your body a priority, for it will remain more important after the test, and it should still be before. Stay hydrated too!

  • On a similar note, schedule time to exercise, even if it means literally schedule your gym time with a colorful block on your calendar or in your planner.

  • Take a break from studying! Walk around the library for a bit. Leave your room and walk for ten minutes. Stay put and do something else. The point is you must take a break for the sake of your focus. That’s right! You’ll be more focused if you take breaks rightly. Try the Pomodoro technique.

  • Celebrate when your final is over! Treat yourself after finishing your exam or turning in your essay/project. Truly do what makes you happy (and is not taxing on your health or additional studying). You could buy your favorite drink, do a face mask, nap, sing (a lot), watch a movie, or whatever contents your heart.

  • Have a test buddy! Know someone else, if not a whole bunch of people, who is taking the same test. If you or anyone you know has a tendency to sleep through things, make sure you are all awake before the test so that nobody has to sleep through their final.

  • If you need, ask for an extension on your assignment. Under pressure, we are most vulnerable to acting beyond our standards, so we are most likely to cheat and do other dishonorable things to assert ourselves under the hands of the clock. If you know that a deadline is simply not working, let you professor or TF know and ask for an extension.

  • Go explore the world beyond. If money is an issue, the M2 shuttle (which you can track on the Omni app) takes you right into Boston, and it will take you right back. This offers a great chance to explore the city, which you probably don’t get to do in the middle of the semester.

  • Don’t take on extra tasks that will distract you from finals. So, don’t decide to plan an event, take on extra hours at work, or anything else too much. This is a time for you to prepare for finals, so make the most of it with as few distractions as possible. So, remember you can say no.

  • Make good plans for break so that you have something to look forward to, whether it’s seeing family, reuniting with your pet(s), hanging out with friends, or anything that gives you a glimmer of hope and happiness. Good plans can pull you through finals and slushy snow to the other side: winter break!