End-of-semester survival guide

There are less than two weeks left of classes, which means final exams are approaching. Our motivation may be dwindling, our grades may be slipping and our bodies may be deteriorating from over-caffeination, but there’s still time to save ourselves.

Hope is not lost. Here are some expert tips to keep you on track and ready to kill those exams (before they kill you).


Get enough sleep

You might be tempted to stay up to the wee hours of the morning studying, but make sure you get at least six hours of sleep each night, especially before a final. If you’re feeling that mid-afternoon slump, keep the napping to a minimum; 30 minutes is just fine, but three hours means you might’ve missed your deadline.


Dress comfortably

If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the library studying (or crying), you might as well be comfy. Dressing nicely is great, but wearing sweats and a T-shirt is completely acceptable this time of year. Just be sure to shower.


Set alarms

Setting annoyingly loud alarms will help you get up after a long night of studying. It also helps to have your phone across the room, so you have to get out of bed to turn it off – you’ll be less tempted to hit snooze and go back to sleep.


Snacks are great for study sessions, but eat actual food, too

If you’re planning on being in the library for a few hours, having a bag of Doritos or a few granola bars is perfectly fine. Just make sure you eat some food with actual nutritional value, too. I know we’re college students on tight budgets, but you can’t live off Hot Pockets and Red Bulls.


Coffee is great, but so is water

For all-nighters, coffee is going to be your best friend, but not drinking water can lead to some major headaches, though. Make sure to have a fair share of H20 to accompany your caffeine intake. You might need to go to pee a lot more, so try to snag a table close to a bathroom.


Keep organized

We’ve all had one of those, “Oh, sh*t, there’s an eight-page paper due tomorrow” moments. Try to write down any assignments or meetings you have as the year closes out, so you don’t lose your head. Having a planner app on your phone isn’t a bad idea either.



Do. Not. Procrastinate.

Should be pretty self-explana-Tori. (I’ll see myself out, boss.)


Listen to music

Music will help you focus and keep distractions to a minimum. If you’re struggling to concentrate, close your eyes and meditate to the music for a couple minutes, then go back to work more determined.


And if the stress gets to you …

Take a break! You have a lot to do, but taking a short break for some Netflix or to play a few video games is a great way to keep you sane. If you feel like crying, go right ahead; treat yoself and get some fancy three-ply tissues with lotion, too. You can do it, champ.

Whether it’s the end of your freshman year, the end of your senior year (or super-senior year) or somewhere in-between, we all still freak out at least a little bit before final exams. You may be sad, anxious and maybe a little relieved for the semester to be over and for summer break to begin (unless you’re taking summer classes – in that case, I’m sorry).

If you’re at all stressed out just remember to follow these tips, and the college gods will reward you in the end.

Go forth, my fellow scholars.

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