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The Final Moments: A Guide to Surviving Finals

Finals season really does feel like the worst time. All assignments and exams are piled up at the end of the semester and it’s beginning to cause so much stress that it is hard to function like a normal human being. People around you constantly ask if you are okay and you feel like you have no time for anything else.

Well, lets pause the panic. Here is a collegiates’ guide to surviving finals.


Step 1: Know when and where everything is

Figure out when all your assignments are due and exams times are. Know where to hand in your assignments and where your exam room is. Also, knowing where all your pens, pencils, and other materials are to take your exam. By doing this tiny little things, it will help relive some stress because you will not have to worry about logistics.


Step 2: Don’t rely on your memory. Write it down!

Find your best method. This can be done either by writing it down in your agenda or in your phone, but always write your appointments. By writing it down, you won’t have to memorize when and where everything is.


Step 3: Recognize your support network

If it’s your friend, your family, or your pet, recognize who you go to in times of need. Who do you vent to? Who gives you words of wisdom when you need them most? Make sure you can talk to them during finals, so that they can help calm you down if needed.


Step 4: To caffeine or not to caffeine?

Did you know caffeine can lead to insomnia or nervousness? I know having a cup of good old caffeine is essential for most of us, but do consider limiting the amount of caffeine you have during the day, and especially during the night. 


Step 5: Limit your distractions

Facebook, Netflix, Instagram, and other forms of social media are all distracting you from your work. Whatever you do, whatever it takes, try to remove or limit your distractions. Print out your lecture slides and leave your laptop alone by doing things by hand. Get an internet lock app that will shut down the internet while you study. Cold Turkey is a good app for macOS users. Also, cleaning and organizing your study space before you study will help from getting up and cleaning in the middle of studying (trust me, I clean my house the best during finals).

5.5 Step: Disconnect from technology

Yes, there is a .5th step and that is take a break from technology. You don’t need to study. Go for a walk, read a book, meditate, hang with a friend. Just take a step back from technology.


Step 6: Study schedule yourself

Now I don’t mean plan your whole week or life in one sitting. That is extremely stressful and just won’t work when unexpected things happen. Just plan a day or two in advance what you are studying, how long you are going to study, when you are taking breaks to eat, get ready, and do physical activity (even just a small walk). This will help you focus on what matters most and not thinking about what you need to do. If you don’t want to do a task, get it done earlier in your schedule so it doesn’t bum you out.


Finally, Step 7: If you still struggling, seek extra help

Finals are tough and a simple guide to survive might not be enough. If you’re struggling with your course content, go to your professor, TA, or the Student Learning Commons. If its stress, Health and Counselling has many services to help. 


Best of luck during Finals Week! I believe in you!




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