For college students, December means study guides, all-nighters, review sessions, bottomless cups of coffee, no free time, numerous mental breakdowns, and final exams that may seem like the end of the world. But with the right tools, you can make it through the end of the semester with your sanity and enjoy a long, blissful winter break. Here are 10 tricks for making it through finals week alive:
1. Craft a master schedule and to-do list.
Detail everything you have to accomplish from now until the timer runs out on your last exam, and check things off as you go– it will help you visualize progress.
2. Go for a run
If you absolutely despise running, then go for a walk. The fresh air will wake you up and release some feel-good endorphins.
3. Get some sleep
Believe it or not, pulling an all-nighter is actually one of the worst things you can do to your body. Tired minds do not retain information. Stick to a healthy sleep schedule!
4. Ignore social media
Facebook, Instagram, and twitter are all notorious distracters, and seeing a friend’s beach-and-margarita photo post is not going to make studying those anatomy terms any easier. Try putting your phone on do not disturb while you’re studying and check it only during study breaks.
5. Cuddle with a puppy
There are many ways to de-stress, but hanging out with a dog is one of the most calming and enjoyable ones. If none of your friends own dogs, check out a local shelter or your campus finals week activity schedule for time with therapeutic puppies.
6. Clean your desk
It may be weirdly metaphorical, but decluttering your desk helps to declutter your mind as well. Plus, you might find some long-forgotten candy in the nooks and crannies. By cleaning your desk, you’ll create a new space that allows for maximum focus.
7. Call your mom
She may have some good, unique mom-advice, or she may just tell you about what she scored at Best Buy on Black Friday. Either way, talking to your mom always makes life look a little softer. Plus, maybe it’ll prompt her to send chocolate chip cookies with expedited shipping.
8. Listen to music
Take a break and dance around your bedroom to your favorite album or sing in the shower to Journey. Music can help you relax and regain composure if you’re having a little anxiety attack about school.
9. Back up your work
Whether you’re working on a research paper or just recording notes, you should always make sure you’re saving your work. Even though the world is supposed to be technologically advanced, computers still crash, and they only crash at the most inopportune times. Be prepared. Sign up for Evernote.
10. Keep in mind that exams are just exams (with little bearing on your life in the long run)
In the midst of a soul-crushing finals week, it’s sometimes hard to remember that college exams really aren’t the beginning and the end of the world. You’ve made it this far, and you’re doing just fine. Eat a cupcake and hang in there.