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Ah, finals. The stress, the sleepless nights, the incessant cramming. Are you on the verge of a nervous breakdown? Are you binge-watching Netflix to avoid dealing with the reality of research papers, tests, and final projects that are due in a matter of days?  I can’t guarantee you an A (that’s up to you, you scholar), but here’s a few ways you can make sure you’ll pull through:

1. Eliminate all threats. Um, I mean, distractions.

Back away from the Netflix. Have someone hide your phone or erase all of the apps that distract you (I’m lookin’ at you, Twitter). Turn off the WiFi or purposefully go to a place where the Internet is ridiculously slow. Winter isn’t coming; it’s here already. It’s crunch time, you have things to do and you need to get on them. You’ve already read the first step! See? This isn’t hard. We’ll get through this.

2. Get your sh*t together.

Strategize and make a list of everything you need to do. I find it helps to write tasks down in terms of easiest (essays I can get out of my way quickly, for example) to most time-consuming, like a killer final project that you’re going to have to dedicate more time to. If you need to go crazy and schedule your every waking moment for the next two weeks, do it. Dust off that planner and highlight, underline, go nuts. Time management is your friend. If you’re taking too long on one thing and it’s causing you too much trouble, pause it and move on. Don’t ignore everything else in order to finish one assignment or focus on studying for one test; that’s the easiest way to get overwhelmed later.

3. Consult your notes (or use a lifeline).

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a specific assignment or test, break it down into doable baby steps. The hardest part of anything is starting, and I know that if I’m confronted with a big research paper, I always start by reading the assignment rubric: What is being asked of me? What questions does my paper need to answer? Find out what information you need in order to get it done and scavenge your notes for those key points. Make sure you use these last few days of class wisely by consulting your professor if you’re confused or by exchanging numbers with some of the people in your class in case you have doubts later on.

4. Know when to stop.

Are you drinking so much coffee that you’re going to the bathroom more than you’re writing? Do you find yourself reading the same sentence over and over again because it’s still not getting through to you?  Have you noticed the people around you look concerned/frightened by your appearance and/or general behavior? There’s such a thing as brain overload and you’re eventually going to hit a wall if you don’t take a break. Take a nap, eat an apple, and cry a little bit. There’s a reason why people call finals Hell Week. You’ll make it through, champ, I believe in you. And always remember…

… Ryan Gosling does too.
*Photo Courtesy:
Gabrielle Thurin is a Sociology major at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. She interned at the professional services firm Ernst & Young during the spring of 2013 and spent the summer of 2013 as an intern at the prestigious law firm Fiddler, González, & Rodríguez, P.S.C., where she currently works part-time as a law clerk in the Foreclosures department. Gabrielle enjoys reading, pop culture references, vintage-inspired dresses, and discovering new things. Also, Netflix.
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