A Journalist’s Guide to Surviving Finals’ Week

Logan Mullen
Entertainment Editor




Mullen on the right
Mullen on the right

It’s the most wonderful time of year. Not Christmas, but finals’ season. Our Facebook walls are clogged with GIFs and memes with title like, “30 How I Met Your Mother GIFs that perfectly summarize finals week,” as well as people complaining left and right about all the finals that they have to get ready for.

But fear not, because I am here to (attempt to) provide you with some tips to get through this final stretch. I’ve been there, we all have. The time frame between Thanksgiving break and Christmas break is arguably one of the hardest a college student can face.
And to be perfectly honest, I had a hard enough time motivating myself to write this, when all I have wanted to do was lay in bed all day and watch Behind The B. But if you are reading this article, it means that I found the motivation to write, and here is why. I have developed some habits that have helped me through this final stretch, and if used correctly, it can probably help you too.

The Post-It Note Method

I actually learned this method from a friend, and I have lived by it ever since. Make a Post-It note for each day from now until your break starts. On those Post-Its, mark down what you need to get done and what you should get done. In doing this, it keeps your mind organized and makes you think short-term instead of long-term, which will likely only confuse you. And it doesn’t just have to be academic things on these Post-Its—mine often include things like “Pack to go home” or “clean room.” I’ve found that setting these little goals for each day helps me to be more productive and motivated. AND you get to throw away the Post-It once you’ve crushed that day, which also serves as a nice countdown to break.

Get Your Workspace Organized

First things first: get out of your room. Even if you ordinarily work well in your room, you need to get out of it because the finals bug will just kill any desire to work, and having that desire to just crawl back in bed and watch Netflix will hit you even harder. So go to the Union or library or really anywhere that is not yours or someone else’s room. However, at one point or another, you will still likely find yourself having to work in your room. And when that opportunity arrives, you need a clean workspace. Keep your desk organized from clutter, and put only what you currently need on your desk at a time so your mind stays focused on the assignment at hand. This is applicable when you work elsewhere too, keep only what you need on the desk or table at once.

Take Breaks Somewhere Other Than Your Study Space

We’ve all been told to not just overload yourself and to take breaks as you study. For many of us, a break is staying in the library and just opening up every social media site we can, looking at it as fast as we can for the allotted ten minutes we have given ourselves for our “break.” A much better alternative is to get away from whatever building it is you are studying and take a walk.

Grab a coffee, get some fresh air for a minute, whatever it is get away from your desk and get a change of scenery. Usually, we are so wired in from staring at books, notes and computer screens that the last thing that should be done is to further shove our faces into the computer. Just get away from the desk or table you are at in the first place and clear your mind.

Everyone has something that works for them, so implement those and give some of these a shot too. It is a tough time of the year, but we can all make it through, just remember, we are mere days away from break! Good luck and have a great winter break!


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