During my first semester here at Clark, all of those years ago, I came upon finals ready to face anything. I didn’t quite understand what was coming my way, as collegiate finals are quite different from how they were in high school. Even though there is a lot more unscheduled time, it seemed so much harder to get through them. So here are a few tips that have really helped me get through finals over the past few years and will hopefully help you keep your sanity as we buckle down for the last big push before break.
1) Plan plan plan…
Looking at the heaps of work ahead of you can feel incredibly daunting. It may seem like there is just too much to do and too little time. If you are feeling overwhelmed, the sooner you make a schedule for yourself the better. Breaking down your work into smaller steps can make them much easier to tackle. You can always change your schedule if need be, but having one can make the unattainable seem much more doable.
We all know the common college dilemma of balancing our responsibilities with sleeping and socializing. Sleep is always important, but it is especially important during finals. Staying up all night makes it so much harder to do your best work. There are some people who can stay up all night and be fine, and if you are one of those people that is great. But, most people need a good night sleep to be functional. Deciding on a time to stop doing work for the night is the number one way I keep sane during finals.
3) Eat well
There is nothing like comfort food to get me through a rough time. Forgetting to eat meals can make your energy plummet and make the great tasks of finals seem even more insurmountable. Chocolate can be a great buddy to help you get through it.
4) Reward Yourself
After hours and hours in the library, it can be hard to stay motivated. Setting goals for yourself and rewarding yourself when they are completed can be a great technique to move through finals. Whether your rewards are spending a bit of time relaxing with friends or watching a few YouTube videos, motivation is an amazing tool.
5) Know yourself and your own habits
All sorts of people are giving advice for functioning well during finals whether it’s me through this article or your mom telling you to take care of yourself. In the end, you know yourself better than anyone else does. If you handle stressful work by taking lots of naps or by making lists or listening to jazz, you know how you function best. Some people work well with friends and some people have to work in complete silence and isolation. If you don’t quite know what works best for you yet, don’t worry about it. You will know soon enough. Try many different working environments until you find a productive setting. Taking care of yourself the way that you know best is key!
6) See the light at the end of the tunnel
Remember that no matter what happens, finals have a time limit and they will eventually be over. Many people have made it through the finals that you will take and so will you. The holidays are right around the corner, and in just about a week and a half this will all be over and we will be able to enjoy a little more time for ourselves! Hang in there!
By: Annalise Kukor