Ahhh, the week before Finals Week. What better way to destress than to procrastinate, stay up late all night before that final paper’s due, etc?
OK, while I’ll admit to occasionally procrastinating, so far I’ve made it through college WITHOUT pulling an all-nighter (cue slow claps); however, that does not make me any less stressed now than it would the weekend directly BEFORE finals week, only a little over a week away.
So, here’s what I suggest to you, so you, like me, don’t end up committing seppuku when you’re THIS CLOSE *holds fingers less than an inch apart* from finishing good, hard, and strong (Complete with the slam-academic-dunk.):
- DON’T cram last minute. Seriously, don’t, unless you are literally so busy with everything else, it. Isn’t. Worth. Knocking. Your. Grade. Down. A few notches, at that.
- PRIORITIZE!!! Stuff that is due earlier, tackle first. Hard stuff, big projects and presentations, get a jump on them right away, so you have more time to plan and stuff. You’ll be more prepared that way, and will be less liable to cram it all into one night.
- Work ahead of schedule, if you can. No, seriously. I know, it’s a pain in the rear, but if you try to get more of your stuff done a week ahead of schedule (when you usually have less actual homework, since classes are winding down), you’ll have like half your things done (at least!) by the time the dreaded Finals Week actually arrives. Sure, there are scheduled exams and tests you can’t NOT avoid taking that week, but with papers, projects, and presentations, well, trying to get them done ASAP will help you in the long run. Not to mention, the HUGE burden it’ll lift from your shoulders!
- Don’t forget about rooming, taking books back, classes for next semester (if you aren’t graduating), cleaning your dorm/apartment, etc. At the college I go to, all of these things are a MUST. In fact, for the last one, they will actually FINE you if it’s not cleaned up, and everything moved out/put back into place. Makes me wish we had a room check every other week, like my besties down in PCC…. hint, hint…
- Lastly, through it all, DON’T forget…to relax, and also to SLEEP. Surprised? Well, logically speaking, there’s no real point in trying to work on a paper or presentation if you’re nodding off, and can barely focus on keeping those peepers open, let alone be awake enough to study. Take care of your body, the body God’s entrusted to your care, and it will serve you well in return. Also, relaxing. Don’t forget to take little breaks here and there. Get up, stretch, go for a short walk to stretch those leg muscles after sitting for so long. Play with playdough or one of those de-stresser squeezy ball thingies. Leisure read a chapter of a book you’ve been dying to finish (ONLY one chapter, though!!). Take a brief nap if you’re wiped out. Just chill and take a little breather. Life’s not going to totally stop and come to a complete crash if you do that the week before finals.
- ABOVE ALL ELSE, REMEMBER: Your grades do NOT make you, you. I’ll reiterate: They do NOT make you, you. A lot of people (myself included) tend to slightly obsess about their GPAs… not that this is ALWAYS a bad thing. But when you practically pin your identity on it, it becomes a HUGE problem. Seriously, some things and some classes/subjects I struggle more in than others, and I took it all so seriously that it had a DEVASTATING toll on my self-esteem, and how I viewed myself as a person (and I already beat myself up enough, as it is…). But seriously, they. Don’t. Make. You. You. A wise young woman once told me, “Just because you got a “C” paper does not make you a “C” student, “C” smart, or a “C” person.” Well said.