Like soooo many other students right now, it’s finals time. My last day of school is this Thursday, and next week I’ve got five finals in four days! Yikes! Most everyone else is taking finals now with school ending last week, so strike against Iowa. I decided to compile a to-do list of how to survive your finals with minimum PTSD allowed, just going off of what I know has worked for me in the past!
- Sleep. If I don’t stay up till 2am doing homework any other time of year, don’t expect me to start now. Knowing me if I sacrificed hours of sleep to learn the material I would forget when and where the final exam was even being taken.
- Walk or ride. Seriously, walking on the treadmill or riding a stationary bike is the BEST way to memorize note cards. Whether it’s a three inch stack of note cards, five pages of review sheets, or a small book, get your butt moving. If I just try to sit down and read them all it would take is a spec of dust to distract me. Set the resistance or the incline higher so you don’t have to worry about speed and bouncing around too much.
- This isn’t really a study tip, but I’ve been making a really big effort this year to go to class looking a college senior and not like a freshman dude (sweatpants, ponytail, tired eyes). If I spend zero time on my appearance for finals week, I will feel pathetic and I will act pathetic and I won’t want to leave the house. Take a shower, blow dry your hair, wear jeans to the library because they’re warmer anyways and I swear you’ll be more productive
- Eat and drink more than coffee and granola bars. You will get a headache.
- Lay off the computer and spend some time with your books and notes. If you stare a screen all day you will also get a headache.
- Chill. Just the chill the eff out because finals week will not ruin your life in any way shape or form. As I’m sure you could tell from my earlier bullet points, I’m pretty chill about the whole exam thing. Don’t let it get to you. This time will pass. The exams will come and go, and then it’s Christmas and how can anyone’s life be “over” when Christmas is right around the corner. Just breathe and study what you can and don’t try to cram. Take care of yourself and your body and your mental health and the rest will fall into place. Don’t fight people at the library and don’t chug Red Bull, and don’t fall into the trap of “it’s Finals Week and I have to study more than anybody else to get an A.” Think quality over quantity. Ask for help if you need it. Make time for shopping and baking and laundry. Finals week is just a week.