Finals week is rapidly approaching. It’s such a strange period: so much to do with so little time to do it. If you have reading days, things can quickly become very isolating and, quite frankly, depressing. Here are some tips on how to avoid letting the stress get you down and how to keep up your focus.






During finals week, it’s essential to map out your day with lists and schedules. I know that if I didn’t adhere to a checklist or schedule, I wouldn’t be nearly as productive or efficient on reading days where it is solely up to me to get my work done. Having an entire day completely empty of responsibilities that affect others can go seriously wrong. So on reading days, I segment my day into chunks of time for studying. My recommendation is that you don’t do the same work back-to-back, but instead mix it up so you don’t get bored and lose focus. I set a reasonable time to wake up, schedule my work periods and also allow time for breaks. I find that putting structure into my day really helps me from letting procrastination take over!





It’s winter, which means it gets dark outside super early at around 4pm. This can make it really hard to stay focused and keep working. I know it makes me really tired when it’s totally dark out and I’m trying to be productive! That’s why I like to set an early (not crazy) alarm in the morning and try to get most of my studying done for the day while the sun is out. Of course, finishing everything by 4pm is unreasonable, but I find I get my best work done during the day rather than at night, and make an effort to do so.






Try to change study locations throughout the day, or from day to day. When I get too used to a study space, I quickly become easily distracted and zone out more. Sometimes I’ll study in a quiet room of the library, a classroom, or a busier environment like the community center. With a change in environment, I’m better able to dig into everything I have to do than if I feel enabled to take a nap or procrastinate. 






We’d all go completely insane if we worked 24/7 during finals week. Honestly, most times I go halfway stir crazy, but study breaks keep me sane. As important as it is to break up your day with little reprieves, it’s also really beneficial to finish work for the day at a reasonable time and relax at night. Going too hard will burn you out too fast. We are all human and need to be at peace to recharge sometimes. I like to try to finish my work around 8pm or 9pm and hang out with friends or watch Netflix before going to bed. Then, I go to bed at a reasonable time such as midnight, because getting a good night of sleep keeps your immune system strong and allows your body and mind to prepare for the next day!






However much sleep you are getting, it’s still winter and there is always the possibility of getting sick on a college campus. Last year during finals, my roommate and I both got sick. Zicam and Emergen-c saved us! Zicam has nose swabs that you use when you start getting cold-like symptoms, to stop from developing an actual cold. Emergen-c, or however you want to get some vitamin C, keeps your immune system healthy. Both remedies definitely saved us from getting too ill to survive finals last year. Take note!


I hope you’ll find these tips helpful! Finals week is very challenging and can get frustrating, lonely, and generally just make you feel like crap. Good luck, and may we all survive our finals!


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