5 Tips to Survive Finals Week

For many of us, this week and next are filled with assignments, papers, presentations, and finals as we finish up our semester. I wanted to share a few tips I have learned over the years. Now, when you are reading these you will either think they are extremely obvious or you will think I am crazy. I am fine with you thinking I am crazy, but give these a shot and I can guarantee you will feel so much better.

1. Stop Stressing Whether you stress yourself to the point you pull your hair out, or you don't stress at all, you will still have the exact same amount of work to do. Make a list of all the assignments you have to finish, along with the finals you need to study for. Plan your days down to each hour, when you will eat, sleep, shower, and switch from studying one subject to another. Then, STICK to that schedule, even if it means waking up super early, missing out on eating with your friends, etc. In the end, it will be worth it!

2. Eat Well Having an energy drink, a bag of chips, and a candy bar for dinner is not nutritional. Your body needs nutrients to give you energy and keep your brain working. Not having time is a lame excuse. Substitute junk food for healthy snacks, and if you know you are going to be in the library all day, pack some healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day. One of the most important tips I can give you is to eat full meals and not rely on snacks to get you through the week. Do your body and your mind a favor and eat well!

3. It is okay to take a break! We all seem to get it in our minds at one point or another that studying non-stop for 18 hours is going to solve our problems. Not true (most of the time). There comes a point, where it is hard to focus and instead of retaining any information, we end up staring at our computer screen wondering what the cat is doing at home and daydreaming that we had our own TV show (it happens to the best of us!). TAKE A BREAK. It is okay to take a 5-10 minute break, check the social media sites, run to Starbucks, watch a YouTube video. This will help you refocus and be able to work much longer. Just make sure your break doesn't turn into an hour long!

4. Get Some Sleep Another stereotypical college move is the all-nighter. Doing this, is not giving you any sort of advantage! Your body needs sleep to be alert and focused. Without it, you will have a much harder time remembering what you studied, and will be groggy and unfocused all day. Not to mention, when your body can't take it any longer and you crash, you will miss out on hours (or even a day) of productivity. Set aside at least 5-6 hours to sleep each day, work it into your schedule, and make it happen. Your body will be so thankful you did!

5. Listen to Christmas music! This last one is a fun one. What better way to make you feel less like you want to stab someone and more like you want to dance than listening to Christmas music?!

Now, I am not an expert, but over the years I have found that these little big things have helped me a lot. I understand that some may think I am ridiculous, but making these little changes helped me balance a full schedule of classes and 30 hours of work (even during finals week) for the past three years. I am by no means trying to tell anyone what to do because everyone definitely has their own groove, but if I can help at least one person feel less stressed, I will be happy. I will leave you with one last note: cramming is never the answer. (Something I am constantly reminding myself because I am best friends and worst enemies with procrastination).

What tips do you have for surviving finals week?

Xo, Suzanna

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