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The Importance of Following a Routine During Finals Week

Being in the midst of finals season is typically accompanied by long nights cramming, lots of coffee drinking and overall stressful feelings. Taking finals at home this semester can potentially add to the stress, which is why it’s important to set a routine and create a study schedule to follow. Here are some of my tips to create a routine and get through finals week successfully with minimal stress involved:

1. Wake Up at a Reasonable Hour

close up of white alarm clock
Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels

While I know it’s easy to stay up late into the night procrastinating your studying, you might as well just sleep on time so that you’re able to wake up refreshed and ready to study. By going to bed and waking up at around the same time every day, you will feel more well-rested and can better focus on the material you need to learn for exams.

2. Eat Breakfast While Reviewing Your Goals for the Day

woman eating fresh fruit in a sports bra
Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

Before you go to bed, make a list in your planner of all the material you plan on reviewing the next day. That way when you wake up and have breakfast, you’ll already know what needs to be accomplished for the day and you can get started right after you finish eating. 

3. Change Out of Your Pajamas

As tempting as it may be to stay in your PJs all day, I find myself feeling sluggish and unmotivated when I do, which is what we’re trying to avoid. So make sure you get dressed, even if that just entails putting on a cuter pair of sweatpants. It’ll signal to your brain that it’s time to focus and not get back in bed. 

4. Give Yourself Breaks As a Reward

Exercising after a few hours of studying can help you clear your head so that you can concentrate better later. If that’s not really your cup of tea, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break to play with your dog, watch an episode of your favorite show, or simply grab a snack. 

5. Have a Designated Study Space

person with book on their head
Photo by Cottonbro from Pexels

Since going to the library isn’t an option for everyone with COVID still happening, it’s essential to designate a specific space in your home for studying. Whether that be your desk or the kitchen table, make sure it’s in a quiet area with minimal distractions. Most importantly, it shouldn’t be your bed.

Sticking to a routine during finals week helps guarantee that you’re productive throughout the day and keeps you from feeling drained. By following a study schedule and keeping in the mind the tips I mentioned, it’ll be easier to prioritize studying even when at home.

Good luck on your exams everyone!

Melanie Marin

Illinois '21

Melanie is a senior majoring in marketing and international business management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She spends her free time going to concerts, binging shows on netflix, and baking. Follow her on instagram @melaniemarin9
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