How to Survive and Thrive Amidst College Finals

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Fall Semester finals are painful. You’ve gotten a sweet taste of off-time during Thanksgiving Break, only to have it stolen from you a few days later. You want to watch ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas but instead you find yourself sequestered in the library overnight studying Macroeconomic Theory. You crave some real, home cooked food, but find yourself eating the same frozen meals over and over. Your most visited site is the infamous Roger Hub Finals Calculator, which you check three times a day to see what you need to make on a final to get the grade you want for the class, hoping that it will miraculously drop and you won’t have to get a 120% on the test to make an A in the class.
Sound familiar?
Finals time is a tense time to be a college student. Here are some tips that will help you survive and THRIVE amidst this difficult time of year.

  1. Get solid study groups

    • We all have a friend that is near and dear to our hearts but is a non-stop talker. Nothing wrong with that, but during studying (esp. in finals season), you don’t want to be distracted. Get a study group for each class that you know will keep you on groups
  2. Find your study zone

    • Know where you study best at! Libraries and common spaces are going to be packed at all times during finals season, so make sure you etch a place out that you know you can focus at and that is somewhat reliably space example
  3. Get your planning on

    • Even if you are someone who doesn’t regularly use a planner or any form of to-do lists throughout the year (it’s so helpful !!!), you DEFINITELY should keep an active to do list during finals week.
  4. Use the Pomodoro Method

    • 25 Minutes of no distraction and strict studying followed by an ACTIVE 5 minute break (walk around, use restroom, talk to friends, etc.)
    • An hour of this cycle followed by a longer 20 Minute break (eat, relax) and then Repeat!
    • Psychologically, this method has proven effective and highly efficient.
    • Download an app to keep you on track with this method here
  5. Don’t Neglect your Health

    •  Getting 8 hours of sleep daily in college, let alone during finals week(s), is a far stretch… but try to at least sleep at a consistent time each night and get up at a consistent time so your body can get used to it.
      • Utilize power naps! The ultimate power nap trick is to drink a coffee with a double shot of espresso right before you take a power charge 15 minute nap- you’ll wake up buzzed and ready to study (while possibly shaking bc caffeine rush but oh well) lol
    • Try to bring healthy snacks to your study space so you don’t have to inconvenience yourself by wasting time and spending money going out to eat. Also, you will be able to sustain your study power more durably if you fuel yourself with healthy, real food!
      • Nuts and Fruit are a classic pair that will provide you with filling healthy fats and also antioxidant rich bursts of simple sugars nuts and fruit snack
    • You can study while exercising! I kinda am infamous for this- I literally bring my notes on the elliptical or bike and listen to lectures while running… getting in a good sweat is great for eliminating toxins and relieving stress; don’t neglect it completely during finals!
  6. Say NO

    • It is important to let your job, internship, and any extra-curricular commitment know when your finals start. They will understand, and be willing to work with your schedule. I personally was able to stop going to my internship a week before my finals started, giving me an extra 15 hours a week to study. (woot woot).
    • Also, be mindful of partying and being crazy on weekends in the weeks leading up to finals. This may sound like common sense, but many students end up giving themselves one day to give in, and end up being hungover for the next day and entirely unable to get any work done.
  7. Know the weight of your grade

    • I don’t mean literally…. if you’re particularly stressed over making a certain grade, just remind yourself that 5 years from now, you won’t have any idea what that grade is, nor will it matter. Your GPA isn’t a permanent branding that will determine your future! Don’t give it that much power over you.
  8. Know that soon you will get 2 plus weeks at home, with your family, friends, pets, real food, your own bed! You just gotta make it through a few weeks 😃

I hope these tips help ya to stay sane while killing all your finals! Good Luck ❤️

Hi Y’all! My name is Zahra and I’m a 19 year old college student passionate about growing spiritually, learning endlessly, and living healthfully. I love to express my deepest sentiments and ponderings through writing. I thank you for reading my words; I hope they nourish your soul!

December 4, 2017
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