Doesn't it seem like Survivor has been on FOREVER?
So I have just finished my first INFAMOUS finals week, and let me tell you, it is not a joke! Finals week is everything they say it is: stressful, full of studying, long and grueling, and pretty hard all in all.
I can't tell you the amount of times I felt defeated and said, "Jesus take the wheel", or the amount of times that I proclaimed I was "over it" when studying, especially for finite. But I made it, and I feel pretty good!
So here lie my tips, suggestions, and life hacks for surviving finals week without too much stress!
I cannot stress how important this is. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL FINALS WEEK TO START STUDYING. You will be totally freaking out! I started studying about a week and a half before finals week, and it really pays off! In addition to lowering stress levels (which are inevitable), you don't have to cram! For example, I have 14 packets of notes for my psychology class. I split them into four sets of three packets and one set of two packets so I could spread out my studying in five days. It's completely worthwhile to be strategic like that.
Don't just focus on one! Try to evenly distribute how much you study of all of your finals, otherwise you won't feel prepared for all of them. It's better to get a decent score on all of them than a high score in one or two and low scores in the rest! You could devote certain days to certain classes. That's kind of what I did. I would focus on psych and biology one day, finite on another, etc.
Continuing to study even when you know that you aren't absorbing any information is totally useless. Take a break! Check out social media for 20 minutes or watch an episode of your favorite Netflix show (ONLY ONE EPISODE) or take a snack break! However, do not go into procrastination mode. Don't paint your nails or watch a whole Christmas movie or disinfect your entire room and rearrange your closet. (It happens.) Don't fall into procrastination mode!
I know that college is infamous for these, but I haven't had to pull an all-nighter and I have really good grades. A lot of professors will encourage you NOT to pull an all-nighter! It's so important to get an adequate amount of sleep. You don't want to walk into the finite final with half of your brain completely dead. You also don't want to make it to 5 AM, fall asleep, and potentially sleep through your final. You cannot make up a final.
I ordered takeout for myself the Friday before finals week as a little treat. Some of my friends and I got together for a movie night, and we cooked breakfast for dinner on Wednesday of finals week! Just doing small things like that as a reward for working hard can be really fun! Only do this if you are working hard though!
You will crash and burn. This is not high school, this is a whole new level. College is really challenging, but when you put in the necessary amount of work, succeeding is very easy! Studying is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL in order to pass classes with good grades or at all. So don't be a fool!
The Alumni Association is generous enough to put together goodie bags for finals week for us students, and they're really great! They're totally free, all you have to do is go to the IMU and fill out a thank you card at the table, and then you've got yourself a bag! This semester they had an apple, fruit snacks, a Reese's mini cup, hot cocoa, a bag of microwavable popcorn, a mini bottle of water, a granola bar, a mini candy cane, a pencil, and an eye glass cleaner! I think that was everything! Also, you can get a free goodie bag from your nearest food court the week of finals as well! Those had a King sized Hershey bar, an Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chip cookie, a Blow Pop, an apple, a mini water bottle, and a mini candy cane. Don't miss out on the free goodies!
I personally didn't do this, but Megan (my roommate) studied for one of her classes with one of her friends who is in the same class! Studying in a group can offer different perspectives, and it gives you a chance to ask someone for help on understanding something other than going to office hours.
If you're confused on something and really need clarification, all of the professors are so nice and helpful. Don't hesitate to go to them and ask for help! They will probably even tell you what you do and don't need to know for the final as well, and that can be really helpful when it comes to minimizing material that you need to study.
Eating in your room really helps to stay focused. I personally end up sitting in Gresh for two hours if I get dinner with my friends. It's inevitable, we ALWAYS do it. So don't let that happen to you! Plus, even though they're frozen/microwavable dinners, it's a nice change from food court dining.
You will feel like you cannot possibly study any longer and that if you do, your brain will explode. You may feel like there's no way that you're going to remember everything. DON'T GIVE UP. You will feel like you have mush for brains at certain points but all you need to do is take a break and give yourself a little pep talk.
I like studying in my room, but some people can't focus with all the distractions. A lot of people like to go to the Wells Library to study, which is a great idea, but Wells is PACKED during finals. So just keep that in mind. The IMU is also an awesome place to study. I love the South Lounge. A lot of class rooms are also unlocked until late at night, so if they're empty, you could totally study in one.
Once you finish your finals, you're forever done with those classes AND you get to go home for Christmas break!
I've really enjoyed most of my classes, but I'm so excited to be moving on to new classes in the spring. More importantly, I am STOKED to be going home for three weeks. IU is awesome but you start to miss home after awhile! I can't wait to see my parents and my aunt and my best friend and my cat.
I've been trying to convince my mom to get another cat so Catdog can have a friend. I want to name it Taco. Mom hasn't said yes yet but I'm working on it... Catdog and Taco. It just sounds so good.
I'm also excited to have a kitchen to actually cook my own food! And I'm practically tearing up at the fact that I get to shower without wearing shoes for the next three weeks. It's the little things, people.
I also get to babysit two of my favorite kids, Madison and Tyler, over break. I know you guys read my posts, so this is a special shout out to you (:
Christmas is also the best holiday ever, and my birthday is two days after, so I'm pretty excited for that too!
So don't forget about all the awesome stuff that's coming after you finish all of the grueling finals! You'll do great if you follow these guidelines!
Happy Holidays and good luck!!
PS here's two pictures of Catdog because she's awesome. She needs Taco in her life though.