5 tips to make it through finals week

Written By Kylie Thomas, Co-Features/A&E Editor

With the end of the semester quickly approaching, finals week is just a week and a half away — a time when some students stress out and burn out due to the pressure of finals week. But finals week doesn’t have to be the most stressful experience of your college career if you take care of yourself and prepare correctly. Here are some tips to make finals week a little easier on the college student’s mind.

Make a to-do list and study schedule: One of the struggles of finals week is trying to keep everything organized. An overwhelming amount of work could lead to forgotten assignments and unnecessary stress. By making a to-do list and study schedule, it allows students to physically see what they have to accomplish in one place. Not to mention, it’s oh-so-satisfying to cross off assignments as you get them done. Plus a study or homework schedule lets students chunk up assignments into smaller, easier-to-tackle pieces to keep an efficient workflow. To start a to-do list, mark down all the assignments that need to be done as well as their due dates. You can also add in any outside of school work that needs to be done such as laundry or cleaning. Then use this to-do list to create a schedule for the week including what will be done each day. Most importantly, don’t forget to schedule some time for self-care.

Make a playlist for study sessions: For some students, music is one of the keys to completely working in a timely manner and can even help study habits. Listening to music while studying creates a more enjoyable experience and if a student is in a better mood while studying, they’re more likely to retain information. Classical music and movie soundtracks are great choices for a playlist if you can’t study to lyrical music. Otherwise, try making a playlist filled with comfort songs, not only to limit anxiety but also to banish those study-time blues away. There’s also a rumor that listening to Mario Kart music makes writing a paper easier, but that may just be a placebo effect.

Put your phone away on do not disturb: Phones are an integral part of a college student’s life but during finals week phones can be more of a hindrance than a help. Putting your phone away in a place that isn’t immediately accessible can help encourage work ethic and keep distractions away. Not only can phones be a distraction, but they can also add extra stress outside of school work due to social media and other platforms. It’s even more important to keep that phone away during self-care time. Instead of taking a 20 minute TikTok break, try taking a short walk around campus to clear your mind. Apple’s Focus feature is perfect to use during finals week because you can curate a do not disturb mode that is perfect for your needs. So notifications for calls from your parents can stay on but you can turn off all those excess distractions like Snapchat and Twitter.

Reach out for help if needed: Most students struggle at some point during finals week but reaching out for help can put these struggles at bay. It’s hard to admit whenever help is needed but that’s what professors, advisors and study buddies are there for. The Tutoring Center can help prepare you in the best ways while reaching out to a professor for one-on-one office hours can provide another way to be successful during finals week. Even just checking in with fellow classmates with any questions can help you more than not reaching out at all. Though it’s just as important to reach out for help if you’re struggling with finals stress or any other issues to ensure finals week success. For instance, the Counseling Center has some great tips and resources for students struggling internally. However, it’s better to reach out sooner rather than later so you know you will receive the help you need in a timely manner.

Make sure self-care is a priority: This tip might be a bit basic, but self-care is one of the most integral parts of preparing for and getting through finals week. The last thing any college student wants to do is burn out right before the semester is over and summer break begins. Some great ways to take care of yourself during finals week are eating three meals a day, getting at least eight hours of sleep each night, scheduling breaks during study and work time, keeping up with a skincare routine and not allowing yourself to procrastinate (probably the hardest task of all of these). But self-care doesn’t have to sound boring; it can even include fun things like allowing yourself time to play some video games, hanging out with friends and roommates, taking a walk around Downtown, treating yourself to take out one night for dinner, or even dancing to get all the frustrations and stress out. Just make sure you’re treating yourself right and taking care of your own needs first.

Finals week can be kind of terrifying whenever you look at the big picture, but it doesn’t have to be scary. There are simple steps that students can take to get through this stressful time and come out on the other side as a better student and better person. There isn’t too much time left in this semester, so try to make the best of this seemingly chaotic period and do the best you can this finals week. That’s what matters most.