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Surviving Finals Week

Avoid the Finals Week Burnout by Following These Tips

Elyse Wyatt, Opinions Editor

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With finals week upon us, it is easy to succumb to a sense of doom, both about the semester and its implications for the future. Here are my tips for maintaining your sanity while you cram for exams and write more pages of papers than previously believed to be possible:

  1. Be intentional with your time. This is going to sound like the most anal retentive, type-A habit ever, but mapping out how you are going to spend every hour of your day can make a big difference in terms of feeling like you got enough done. Remember: Ruth Bader Ginsburg has the same number of hours in the day that you do, and she graduated from Columbia Law School at the top of her class while taking care of a small child and a sick husband.
  2. Schedule time for breaks. This can mean blocking out an hour to hang out with your friends, work out, watch a couple episodes of a show, or practice a hobby. It’s difficult to make time for yourself at this point in the semester, but taking an hour every day to relax and recharge can make a big difference in how productive you are the rest of the time. To quote Tom Haverford: “sometimes you gotta work a little, so you can ball a lot.”
  3. Plan a way to reward yourself for your accomplishments. You’re working hard, and you deserve to be rewarded for it! After you finish a paper or take a final, go out for ice cream (even if it’s just grabbing one of those pints from the bistro). Then, when it’s all over, plan an outing or other fun event with your friends and family to celebrate the end of another semester. You have a month off – take advantage of it!
  4. Eat enough food and get enough sleep. It’s been said before, but it bears repeating here: there is nothing heroic about depriving yourself of food or sleep in the name of academics. You might not have time to cook healthy meals, but even instant mac & cheese contains nutrients. Part of being intentional with your time also means making time to sleep. You won’t be as productive if you’re hungry and exhausted!
  5. Take a deep breath, center yourself, and remember that everything is going to be okay. One way or another, a week from now, the semester will be over, and you will be done. You got into Clark for a reason: you are smart enough and capable enough to do well.
  6. And, if all else fails, go to Jazzman’s and treat yourself to a chocolate chip cookie. Put it in the microwave for 10 seconds for the best, gooiest treat ever.

Good luck!


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Surviving Finals Week