Crunch Time Tips

It’s that time of year again, when grunts are my preferred communication and something as simple as referencing The Great Gatsby will make me want to tear my hair out. There’s no time for full meals; it’s cereal and pita chips at every hour of the day. My blood is fifty percent tea (heavily caffeinated earl grey, to be specific). If Fall Out Boy isn’t blasting through my earbuds, odds are I’m extremely cranky. If I doze off during class, I’ll wake up reciting the causes and effects of the French and Indian War.

Finals are upon us.

It’s crunch time, and our eyes are on the light at the end of the tunnel while our goal is simply to survive. Here’s a couple quick reminders to make sure you take care of yourself during finals!

  • Make a killer playlist. Good music is key for being able to hunker down and get ‘er done. In the past, my finals playlists have been calming acoustic bands like Penny and Sparrow or The Hunts. This year, if there aren’t at least two electric guitars threatening to burst my eardrums, I’m not interested or focused on studying. For some reason completely unknown to me, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At the Disco have been my jam. Creating a separate playlist for finals will help you focus whenever you’ve got that music on your side… and also give you reason for an occasional dance break.
  • Tell the group texts that you gottagobye. Nothing is more distracting while studying than your phone ping ping pinging from across the table. It’s so easy to scroll through Instagram, then twitter, then Facebook, then repeat until it’s an hour later and a blank document is still staring you in the face. Put the cellular down.
  • Reward yourself. If you’ve spent a solid amount of time having a really good study session, treat yourself a little bit. Push through the crunch time by envisioning what you’ll do when it’s all over. Plan to reward yourself after finals are through and even after you finish a particularly difficult task or assignment. Associating studying with future benefits (aside from good grades or AP exam scores) will help you stay motivated.
  • Color-code. Without a color-coded schedule, I’d lose my mind. Using different colored pens or highlighters helps keep you focused and makes the information more separate and distinct in your mind. It keeps everything you’ve learned from running together into a giant blob, which is often what your brain feels like during finals week. Use lots of pinks and greens and purples and you’re sure to succeed.
  • (Gold)fish are friends and food. A good snack is a perfect break from studying. Use sweet/salty treats as rewards, breaks, and brain food. My preferred finals snack is carrots and hummus. This point also brings me to…
  • People will tell you not to be dependent on caffeine and that it will stunt your growth and that you shouldn’t require coffee as a teenager, but finals week is an exception to all of these slightly ridiculous rules. I’m not a coffee person, but I drink tea like a vampire drinking blood. If the whole “I’m going to keep myself healthy during exams and actually try to maintain a normal sleep schedule” thing fails, get yourself some caffeine and pull an all nighter. Sometimes, a latte is crucial to your survival, and that’s perfectly okay.
  • Attitude is everything. These weeks can crush you, or you can crush them. You got it, boo. That’s all there is to it.

I hope everyone doesn’t die during finals! Enjoy these crunch time tips and keep going!

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