As I sit in the basement of Ross, a full box of pizza to my left and a stack of disheveled notebooks to my right, amongst all of the other things I have to worry about, I ponder how just last week the only thing on my to-do list was to go grocery shopping. The clock reads 1:45 AM and I have just completed page 9 of my 14-page final paper for an upper-level Communications class that I know I need to pass to graduate next spring. With three presentations down, a 25-page paper submitted to Canvas and one more exam to go before I can escape the horror that is finals week and begin my summer internship back home, I cannot help but wonder how a student at the University of Michigan had the nerve to tell me that my major was easy.
With classes coming to an end in the next two weeks, the UGLi is sure to be over-packed, with the Ref Room and the Stacks following closely behind in the number of students trying to find a quiet place to study. Though I am only a few short days from finishing my junior year, the number of assignments I have yet to complete is quickly growing, even though I have spent the last week at the library until all hours of the night. While I am still a year away from graduation, this will be my sixth finals week at the University of Michigan and I am confident that I have come up with the perfect finals survival guide to get me and anyone else through this exhausting week.
Grab some caffeine: Whether you hit the Starbucks at Ross or pick up some Awake Caffeinated Chocolate from YoGos at the Union, caffeine is a must to get you through the long nights that will almost inevitably turn into mornings. I grabbed a Lo Carb Monster Energy drink at JavaBlu before I settled into my study room in Ross. Not only has it given me energy as I prepare to pull an all-nighter, but it tastes delicious, too. But be careful, too must caffeine is never good for you.
Find a study buddy: Though sitting with others can often be distracting when it comes down to studying, finding one or two friends who are just as focused as you are can be key to keeping your head in the game. Ask someone in your major to grab a table at Espresso. They will know just how much work you have to do and watching them get down to it will motivate you to do the same.
Bring your chargers: There have been far too many times when my Macbook has run out of battery in the midst of an assignment, leaving me to head home from my perfect study spot in search of a charger. Though I spend a majority of my time surfing the web for my day-to-day antics and should already have a charger on me, nothing is worse than stopping what you are doing to go grab a charger. There is no telling when you will be able to return home during finals week, so make sure you pack up the essentials when you leave in the morning.
Make an awesome playlist: Keeping focused can be a challenge with everything going on at a university as big as Michigan. I have always found a good playlist to be extremely helpful in keeping my attention directed towards my work. Listening to my favorite songs keeps me motivated and keeps my brain working, even though at times it feels like it is going to turn off. Many new albums have just dropped this week so now is the perfect time to check them out.
Stay hydrated: While coffee and energy drinks are great for giving you a quick boost of energy, staying hydrated with lots of water is perhaps the most important thing you can do to help your body during these late nights. Remember to refill your Camelbak or S’well before settling into wherever you will study throughout the day. Almost anywhere you go on campus there are places to buy or fill bottles of water, which makes staying hydrated entirely possible
Sleep: Pulling all-nighters can be helpful for learning last-minute information before an exam, but falling asleep in the testing room the next morning will get you nowhere. Though it can be hard to get to bed before midnight the week leading up to exams, getting a reasonable amount of sleep is important. A full eight hours is always suggested, but strive for more.
As I close my laptop, put on my parka and prepare to brace the elements outside Blau Hall, I watch as other University of Michigan pack up and head home for the night. Just two more weeks until the relaxation can begin.
Images Courtesy of: The Odyssey and Giphy