Guide to Surviving Finals

The final push of the semester encompasses projects, papers and of course, exams. I can feel the stress hives just thinking about it all. BUT there’s no need to cry in a fetal position at 3 am in some corner of Sprague Library come finals week. Here’s your HCM Finals Survival Guide.


Make a list of any projects, papers and exams you may have and their due dates. There’s so much going on, it’s difficult to keep everything straight. That’s why writing it on paper, keeping it in your planner or anywhere most accessible to you is key. Nothing is worse than thinking you have a day to chill only to realize you have a final paper to write two hours before it’s due.

Study in different locations

One of my favorite tips is to study in a different location for each subject. It’s proven that students tend to do better on exams when the material isn’t studied in the same place. In contrast to reviewing in the same library nook for every exam, it’s easier for your brain to recall that you studied orgo in the business school and bio in the student center. This is so easy to do so and it really works for me, so I hope you try it out this finals szn.

Eat well

It’s so easy to binge on chips and Monster while pulling an all-nighter, and I’m super guilty of this. But filling yourself up with junk is going to make you feel like junk. Not only will you feel even more tired than anyone normally studying fractals & infinity at 3:32 am, but you’ll be so unmotivated to do anything but watch cat videos.

Instead, munch on frozen green grapes, chocolate covered almonds and if you need caffeine, go for green tea instead of an energy drink. Making these switches will have you almost smiling as you force those neurons to fire a substantial connection between Gilgamesh and the Old Testament (been there, done that, it’s possible).  

Take a break

Just because it’s finals szn doesn’t mean that your brain has to be on 24/7. It’s okay to take a moment to relax. In fact, studying is more efficient when regular breaks are taken. So every so often, watch a video, go for a walk, take a bath, read a book, take a break.


I know it’s so tempting to stay up the night before an exam but you need sleep. Sufficient lack of sleep can lead to further stress, headache, and forgetfulness. Knock on wood you blank out, or worse, fall asleep in the middle of an exam. So get those 6-8 hours!

You’ll make it, I believe in you!