6 Tips to Survive (and thrive) During Finals


Make a schedule to make the best possible use of your time. Looking 2 or 3 weeks forward into finals season can seem daunting, but the sooner you have an idea of what your schedule will look like, the better. Make a calendar with every exam as well as study groups, office house you may need to go to, and any meeting leading up to it. Taking the time now to map out your study time now will keep you from over-committing in the depths of finals season, and it will help you make the best use of reading period and finals week.



Plan to work out! In the craziness of finals, it’s easy to let working out fall by the wayside. Plan NOW for workouts during finals- a good sweat will keep you sane and help you feel good after all those draining days in Tisch and Ginn. If you like to go to workout classes, book the now. Find a workout buddy for the gym and commit now to 2-3 good workouts for all of finals week.



For each class, use all the resources you have (midterm exams, quizzes, practice problems) to get a sense of the kids of questions your professor asks. As you study you can essentially build your own final with questions on topics that are likely to appear and in a format that will match your final. Making yourself a practice-final will give you confidence on the big day and target your study to the essentials. If you can, determine which concepts you need to know by heart, which need to understand but not memorize, and which will be available through something like an equation sheet or other resource. Many professors are happy to direct your studying and give you tips during office hours- take advantage and know as much about what you need to study and what you can leave behind as possible.



The main theme here is, IT’S OK NO SAY NO. With studying, club meetings, final projects, work and friends, making sure you are using your time wisely is a necessity. For the next few weeks, make school the top priority- if that means saying no to a few nights out or taking fewer hours at work, that’s ok! Start thinking NOW about what you do and don’t have time for so that you aren’t stretched to thin or forced to bail on prior commitments.



You’re probably thinking, “honey, I would if I could." But especially during finals, sleeping can be just as beneficial as cramming. If you aren’t at least semi-rested, you will not be able to perform and study effectively. 2 or 3 hours of draining, unproductive study is better spent napping or heading to bed early. Know yourself and look for signs that you have hit a wall. Then, reallocate that time toward sleep so you can have a great, productive next day. Use the same 30 minutes you would spend scrolling through Instagram to get bonus sleep- you deserve it and you NEED it.



Procrastination is just a part of studying, we all do it- no shame. But instead of zoning out to Netflix, do something that feels good. FaceTime your mom, get coffee with a friend for an hour, listen your favorite songs, or find a dog to take for a walk. Procrastination is bound to happen, but making it a form of self care has major pay off.