The Collegiette’s Guide to Surviving Hell Week

There’s that group project with that girl who hasn’t been to class since spring break. That meeting with, wait, what is that meeting even about anyway? Five club meetings. Three tests. Two papers. The presentation. The banquet. The bake sale. The –
 
Stop.
 
You’re already panicking and you haven’t even started yet. Whether it’s by conspiracy or just consistent bad luck, it’s inevitable that college students will find themselves tackling more than seems reasonable near the end of the semester. Now, breathe. We will get you through this.
 
Don’t party the weekend before
You may feel like your imminent death is near, but partying like it’s the end of the world is only going to further hinder you. You have to actually do work come Sunday night. Let’s say you go out Friday night. Well first, your body has to go into overtime to push out all the alcohol, and the more you drink the harder your body is going to have to work.
 
On top of that, when you sleep with alcohol running through your system you might as well not be sleeping at all. Despite the fact that you, “sleep like a rock,” you’re still not getting the full amount of rest because alcohol disrupts your sleep patterns. So even if you go out Friday night and don’t drink anymore for the rest of the weekend, it’s likely that you still won’t be at 100 percent until well into Sunday afternoon or evening. This gives you absolutely no time to prepare for the week ahead of you.
 
Clean
The minute you have to study or write a paper is the minute that you will suddenly get the urge to clean every nook and cranny of your dorm or apartment. It is the only time you will think, “Well, I just can’t possibly study in this mess.” Next thing you know it’s 4 a.m., your paper is due at eight, and you’re too tired to do it. It’s another classic example of college student nesting, and only you can prevent it.
 
Clean your room or apartment in its entirety, and while you’re at it, think even further than that. What are you going to eat while you’re scrambling to complete your assignments? Go to the grocery store and buy food. Make yourself a huge bowl of pasta that will last throughout week. Map out your assignments and organize your things early instead of spending an hour searching for your syllabus a couple hours before your project is due instead of giving up and tweeting about how you’re doomed. If you followed our previous advice, you should have some free time, so no excuses, collegiettes.
 
Get some rest
If you’ve gone through college without pulling an all-nighter, you are either a robot or a superhero or both. It’s an interesting, caffeine-driven experience, but staying up for an entire night is going to come back and bite you later in the week. You may get a lot of work done one night, but the odds are that it won’t be your best work. Which kind of defeats the whole purpose. You’re better off just going to bed, even if you sleep for just six hours instead of the healthier eight.
 
And instead of relying on sugary caffeinated beverages to get you through the night, try consuming more natural energy sources, like apples and whole grains. Try to avoid large portions of heavy, fatty foods and eat small, healthy meals throughout the day. You know how on Thanksgiving or Christmas you wait all day to eat that huge meal, then after you eat it you need a nap? Now is not the time for that.
 

Take breaks
No one ever said to be productive during hell week that you had to work the entire time until it’s done. Psychologist Herman Ebbinghaus pioneered something called, “the learning curve,” and eventually you’re going to hit it. Basically, your brain can only take in so much information before you’re not being productive anymore. You may know this more colloquially as, “I quit.”
 
It’s okay to take breaks, even if it’s just packing up your things and going to study outside or at a friend’s. You would also be surprised how refreshing doing a math problem might be after you’ve written a 10 page paper about medieval gardens. Cooping yourself in your room will only make you angry. Suddenly, everyone outside (and on Facebook) is having a better time than you and you hate them for it. Next thing you know you’ve abandoned all responsibilities in search of fun before they all leave you behind. One thing leads to another and before you know it you’re at wine night and it’s like you never even read this article at all.