May 3, 2015

How to survive finals week

Studying has never been more of a struggle than it is right now.  I know everyone always says they are a procrastinator but I take it to a whole new level.  Seriously I can have you all beat.  It's bad.  My roommate and I joke that if I didn't have a deadline to get things done I probably wouldn't every complete it.  Deadlines help me get my life together.  They give just that push and urgency to wake me up from my Netflix coma and kick me into gear.

Finals in the winter are always so much better.  Its snowing and cold outside so its okay to lock yourself in the library for hours on end.  Finals come Spring semester though are the exact opposite.  Its 70 degrees and sunny outside and all you want to do is go on adventures and move your legs.  You just spent the entire winter cramped up and now its time to be free.  All of a sudden all these great day trips come to mind and the last thing you want is to be stuck in the library for one more week.  And no matter how much you tell yourself you can read that history book while sitting on a bench outside, you can't.

So I have given you a few tips that always work for me on how to survive the death of finals week.  Trust me, it can actually be quite enjoyable if you plan it right.  I did a post last year about study tips for finals week as well if you want to check it out!

Organize || This is my favorite part.  If I could organize everything and then just stop I would be a happy camper.  Organization is half the battle when it comes to studying.  Print all the material off that you think you are going to need.  make a folder for each subject and stick all your notes and readings inside it.  If I took notes in a notebook I will rip them all out, staple the sections, and put them in the folder.  Not only does this take up less space, but its easier to flip through and to take on the go.

Put the computer away || We live in a digital age where our phones and computers are just extensions of our limbs.  But when it comes to finals studying, they are extremely detrimental.  I can easily distract myself on a computer for hours (aka what I am doing right now while writing this post).  There are some websites that will block the use of Facebook or other sites for a few hours so you can focus but I still somehow find a way.  This goes into what I said above about printing everything you may need.  Therefore, when you go the library you don't even have to bring your laptop.  It will feel bizarre but your studying will improve.  Bring those highlighters and post-its and go at it the old fashioned way.  Studying with paper vs staring at a screen has shown to increase test scores.

Change scenery || I cannot study in a library.  Watching people freak out around me causes me anxiety.  I prefer coffee shops or quiet classrooms depending on what I need to study.  If I do want to go to a library, I prefer to go to one that isn't at my school.  If you are in a city go to the public library there because usually its less packed with students and more packed with cute old ladies looking for their next book club book.  My favorite thing is to find a new coffee shop every day.  This way I don't get bored, I get my tea, and I get to walk to get there.

Go outside || By definition finals week is a time where you basically move from bedroom to study location and back.  You get little exercise and your body can start to feel suffocated.  Whatever form of exercise is your favorite, do it!  I know it is taking away from your studying but its better for your health.  It also does wonders to de-stress you.  I just like going for walks to clear my head and jam out to some of my favorite tunes for about half and hour.  Just a little something to help me relax and to take my mind off all the work I have to do. 

Enjoy it || Okay I know this sounds ridiculous but just listen.  Name one other time of the year where you don't have to go to class for an entire week.  Your only responsibility is to study for an exam.  Yes that exam might be worth a lot but all you have to do is study.  This will never happen again in your life.  Go to brunch with your friends or go on a hike.  Not every day has to be committed to studying.  If you plan and organize well at the beginning, you should have plenty of time to do other things.  This is also the last time you will see some of your best friends for a few months so don't let the time go to waste because you are too worried about your exams.  In the end, they are just tests.  Don't let them consume you.

I wish you all good luck on your finals and let me know if you have any other tips!


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