surviving finals

It’s the most full-of-stress time of the year.

Yes, Christmas is right around the corner, the holiday of hope and celebration. But there’s something college students have to get through before relaxing at home for a month…


The word itself has been known to bring students close to tears. But the word is nothing in comparison to the delirium of experiencing finals week. It’s a disastrous occasion of frustration and stress, but it must be done: getting a good grade on a final is generally a positive thing.

As a wise old sophomore, I felt I should bless all the freshmen by bestowing my experience and knowledge on them. Clearly no one is better equipped than me, the girl who blogs about finals rather than studying for them, to help freshmen on the path to success.

So, as my early Christmas gift to the world, I thought I would give some of my best advice on how to survive and thrive during finals week.


Make sure you have notes from all your classes. If you didn’t take notes at all during the semester, now is the time to give up on everything. Or just find a friend and copy their notes.

Now take all those notes and organize them. Maybe even copy them down more neatly and highlight the important parts you need to know for the final. And hey, look at you now! You’re all organized!

Organization is really important. So once you’ve gotten your notes narrowed down and prioritized for studying, realize you’ve completed the most important part already. I mean, look at how neat those notes look. Brilliant. I’d say it’s reason enough for a break.

Breaks are very important, and you must spend these breaks wisely to maximize the time you have before those dastardly tests.

Now would be a great time to reward yourself with an episode or seven of your favorite show. Can’t choose a favorite? Go ahead, watch a few episodes of every show you’re mildly interested in! If you’re feeling up to it, try watching a whole season. Some shows only have a few seasons, so then you might as well just watch the whole series. I mean, they left you on a cliffhanger at the end of season two, so you really have to keep going (I’m looking at you, Sherlock).

Good, now you’ve taken a nice 1 to 39 hour break. You’re probably tired from all that intense binge-watching, and you definitely can’t study while sleep-deprived. All the knowledge will just fall out of your brain. So take a nap. Studies show naps are beneficial for studying, so you should probably sleep for a while.

After sleeping, you are almost ready to study. However, you cannot study without sustenance to keep you alert, so you should probably go get some food. Something with a lot of sugar is probably best. It keeps you awake, ya know? Just in case your five hour nap didn’t do the trick, you better drink a few gallons of coffee too. Make sure you meet up with some friends and chat for a while as you sip that coffee. Social interaction is detrimental to your young brain’s growth.

If your friends all leave to study (or if you have no friends, like me), remember there are other people you can always bother. Call your parents. You may want to ask for some more money, since you just spent it all on coffee. Of course, it’s also good to tell them you love them and you’re excited to see them in the next week or so. But also, money. You need it.

After calling your parents and discussing money, home, and the presidential race for a while (just mention politics and let the conversation begin), tell your parents that you better get back to studying. It’s best if you seem really disappointed that you can’t talk, but you have to continue studying as you clearly have been for every waking moment. And now that you’ve told your parents you were studying (liar), you should probably actually go over those notes you organized back when you first started “studying”.

While reading over your notes, you should probably listen to music. It’s good for your brain and stuff. Not sure what music to listen to? Create a playlist on Spotify. It should be at least three hours long, because you don’t want repeat songs. Make sure you pick out each song individually, because you need to have all of them just perfect before studying. It should only take a few hours to complete your playlist.

Once you have music and no possible excuse for not studying, you know it’s time to get down to business. Put down the phone. Yeah, I know, you’re really interested in that instagram post from 84 weeks ago by your crush’s ex-girlfriend’s brother’s friend’s cousin, but it can wait. Get your head in the game, turn off those distractions, and study.

And most of all, go crush those finals.




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