Finals: How to Pull Through When Your Motivation Has Run Out

Finals week has arrived. There's no way out… *cue Pam Beasley voice* no way out.

Have you ever been in a situation where you find yourself working two part-time jobs and also being a full-time college student, consoling yourself and considering dropping out because you don’t know why you do what you do to yourself and why you treat yourself so poorly without enough sleep or food or relaxation? Because, same.

Well if this is you, look no further! I’m here to inform you that it does get better no matter how tough we think our lives are. We can’t always sit here and feel sorry for ourselves and cry about it. We’ve gotta be revolutionary and actually do something about that. If you’re interested, I’ve come up with a few things that I try to remember and tell myself in order to wake up every day and keep on doing what I’m doing.

  1. 1. Ask for help.

    One big thing that always slips my mind is trying to get some help with my academics if I need it. Keeping your grades up right before taking final exams is a huge necessity. Without having high enough grades before exams, you’re not guaranteed to finish with a high enough GPA to keep you off of academic probation. Make to ask sure if you need help academically! Find a tutor, ask a friend or see if your professor can help you understand anything you’re not caught up on before exam time. Otherwise, it’ll get to be too late.

  2. 2. Self-care is essential.

    When you’re pulling a six-hour sleep schedule out of your butt a few times a week, making sure that everything else is in check is a good idea. By this, I mean taking care of yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. In order to maximize your body functioning and minimize your suffering, take time before bed to wash your face, hair, and body, and don’t go to bed hungry (or eat too heavily at the same time). Even if it means 10 fewer minutes of sleep, you’ll thank yourself later for using that spot treatment for your acne instead of waking up the next morning with a fat zit on your chin. Putting yourself first is okay.

  3. 3. Minimize your schedule.

    If this means cutting off a few hours from your work schedule in order to study more, then do it. Most employers will understand if you plan out switching a shift with a coworker so that you can have that night to study. Working your booty off, coming home and not studying isn’t ideal, even if you’re working a ton and just want to relax.

    As difficult as it’ll get, it’s important to always remember that school should come first. Even though more hours equals money that we need in order to stay above ground, a career will be just out of reach if you’re not careful enough with your grades. As long as you’re not calling out the day or night of and you can get your shift covered. Trust me, work won’t be mad at you for being a student.

  4. 4. Watch what you put into your body.

    During finals week, you’ll want to make sure you’re not loading yourself up with all junk. Theoretically, more junk food is going to make you more sleepy and less prepared. If we get into the science of it, junk food can mess with your hormones. It's a distraction from taking care of your body and will slow or hinder your digestion. If you pay close attention to what you’re putting into your body, you’ll have more energy, have a sustained metabolism and your body will have its nutrients, which can help with digestion.

  5. 5. Sleep enough at night before finals week.

    The biggest mistake you can make during finals week is depriving your body and your mind of sleep. Yes, it’s okay to get a little less sleep when you’re taking care of your skin or body, but it shouldn’t be extensive and overly dramatic.

    Depriving your body of sleep is unhealthy for your mind as well. You’ll focus less, not be able to concentrate for as long on things, and it can be a leading cause of anxiety and depression. Especially during finals week or the week before, getting enough sleep will become the most important thing to you. Studying is also important, but you won’t be able to study well without enough sleep.

These tips can also apply to midterms or realistically, any exams or quizzes. College is a tough part of life and takes a big commitment, but it's worth it in the end. Take care of yourself.