Final’s Week: A Survival Guide

With finals week officially kicking into high gear, college students everywhere are scrambling to prepare for exams and make last ditch efforts to save their grades. But, while the pressure of finals looms over our heads, we often forget the most important thing: self-care. Taking a little bit of time to yourself each day during those dreadful last two weeks of the semester can help to prevent burnout. Here are some tips for staying healthy and making finals week a little more bearable

  1. 1. Catch some zzz’s.

    The most important thing you can do for yourself during finals week is getting adequate sleep. Numerous studies have found that staying inside for increased periods of time can actually be a detriment to your energy levels. While pulling all-nighters at the IC might sound like a good idea, it’s doing more harm to your body than good. The easiest way to combat this is time management. Find out what time of day you are most energized and set that time aside for cranking out a paper or studying for an exam. I personally work more efficiently early in the mornings so I usually plan to get the bulk of my work done then, which allows me to go to bed at a normal time.

    If you find that this routine doesn’t work for you, you can alternatively plan to power nap throughout your day. If you’re someone who likes to pull all nighters or works better later in the day, this will allow you to have more energy at night.

  2. 2. It’s all about the vitamin-c.

    Finals week is notorious for being a time when students get sick. A lot of this is due to the fact that people aren’t taking care of their bodies properly. Lacking sleep and eating unhealthy foods on a consistent basis takes a mental and physical toll on us. That’s why I encourage you to take Vitamin C daily, even if you aren’t sick yet. Living in a city like Chicago makes us especially vulnerable to illnesses that plague public places like the ‘L’. I know just as much as anyone, this is the last week that you would want to suffer from a cold or the flu. That is why I highly recommend downing a cup of Emergen-C or even orange juice once a day to fight off any incoming illnesses. Many drugstores near campus even sell chewable tablets or pills that will make you less susceptible to getting sick. 

    It’s no secret that Vitamin C also has many benefits for the skin. It is well-known in the beauty world for fixing uneven skin tones, rough texture, and general dullness. I find that once finals week hits in December, my skin takes a turn for the worse, falling victim to all of the above. It loses the glow and youthfulness that I so crave. That’s why I invest in skin products that are loaded with Vitamin C. Most recently, I’ve been using the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream to give the brightness and care that my under-eye bags desperately need. If you’re willing to spend a little extra, I would highly recommend treating yourself to a skin care product that is filled with Vitamin C to combat the effects of those late night stays at the library.

  3. 3. Stay organized.

    Decluttering your workspace can do a world of wonders for your levels of efficiency. I find that I function better when I’m working in a clean and organized space. A clearer space means a clearer mind. Throwing on some music and taking 15 minutes to declutter your dorm or apartment is a great stress reliever.

    Staying on top of your tasks also goes hand in hand with staying organized in your physical workspace. I’ve had a planner for as long as I can remember that I fill with all my important dates, to-do’s, and inspirational messages. I’ve found that this has done wonders for me in terms of keeping up with deadlines and maintaining a healthy work ethic. If you find lugging around an extra book annoying, there are tons of ways to stay organized online. Most laptops have a built-in calendar system that keeps track of important dates and even sends you alerts for upcoming deadlines. This can be extremely useful during times like finals week where you are juggling multiple deadlines.

  4. 4. Take study breaks.

    With how busy finals week can get, it can seem unfathomable to even want to set aside a minute that isn’t dedicated to studying. However, powering through work without any breaks is really harmful for your mental and physical health. Popping on a face mask for 10 minutes or even heading to the gym for an hour will give your brain and body a well-needed break to reset. Never feel like you have to deprive your own well-being for the sake of a final. You will reap more benefits if you prioritize yourself first!

  5. 5. Treat yourself.

    Most importantly, make sure you are rewarding yourself for all the hard work you’re doing. After all, you deserve it! This can be something as small as buying yourself a treat from your favorite coffee shop or something as big as making a well-needed purchase. Had your eye on those cute shoes online? Buy ‘em! Finals week doesn’t have to be as insufferable if you don’t want it to be. Giving yourself little rewards along the way will make everything seem worthwhile, or at the very least, more tolerable.