4 Ways To Make It Out Of Finals Week Alive

So you were at the top of your class in high school, got into a respectable university and have survived the first quarter of your college career—congratulations!

As the quarter is coming to a close you realize that finals are upon you and anticipate days of coffee and binders full of notes ahead. This dreadful week preceding finals is better known in the college world as dead week. “That sounds morbid. Why is it called dead week?” Just wait and see.

Maybe studying has never been your strong point. Maybe participation and homework points made up for your inability to take tests in high school. Now imagine this: your general education class (that is a subject of no interest to you) is made entirely up by 50% of the midterm and 50% of the final. This is not uncommon for college courses.

You’ve made it the entirety of the quarter without stepping foot in the library, why would you start now? You’ve perused through PowerPoint slides that your professor has put online in preparation for the final thinking this will be enough. You figure you’ll do fine, as you always have in school.

The night before the final exam comes, December 7th, and you notice it coincidentally is also the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Instead of studying for your heavily weighted final, you think a better use of your time would be to watch the movie Pearl Harbor—because Josh Hartnett is so dreamy.

I know what you’re thinking: who in the world has these poor of study habits? First quarter freshman year I did. That’s who.

Don’t be this guy.

Needless to say I learned my lesson the hard way.

Here are 4 things that you can do to ensure you make it out of finals week alive!

1. Manage your time better.

Time management – these two words you will likely get sick of hearing. They encompass a concept that you will surely struggle with all throughout college; however, they carry the potential to determine your success. Pertaining to dead week, the best advice to managing your time wisely would be “don’t procrastinate.” This is another one you will hear a lot and it’s true, it is easier said than done. As the self-proclaimed world’s worst (or best) procrastinator, here are some things that worked for me.

2. Wake up early.

Ew, I know. I love sleeping in as much as the next guy. It took me until I was forced to take an 8am class four times a week to realize that waking up early gives you more time in the day to get things done. What a concept. If you are already a morning person, I along with the rest of the population envy you. Wake up early, get out of your dorm, and use the extra time you’ve given yourself to study.

3. Deactivate your Facebook (and Twitter, Xbox, Pinterest, etc.)

Our generation has been blessed and cursed with endless ways to waste time. Even if you don’t normally browse the web or play video games, what better way to put off studying? This is something I think most college students are guilty of. Since it takes an immense amount of self-control to resist this trap, why not eliminate the temptation all together.

4. Always do the extra credit.  

Since things are weighted more heavily in college courses, and pluses and minuses are factored into your GPA, it would be very wise to do any and all the extra credit that is offered to you. It could very well save your grade in the end. I realize not all college professors offer extra credit, but there are other ways to tip your grade one-way or the other. Many professors factor participation in as a portion of your grade, and if they know you by name they will be more inclined to give you full points for this. So make the effort to go to office hours, introduce yourself, and say thank you at the end of the quarter.

So even though studying sucks, you know what sucks even more?


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Natalie Alexander

Natalie Alexander

Natalie Alexander is a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations. In her free time she enjoys traveling, dancing, exploring, swimming, laughing, shopping, napping, writing and spending time with her family and friends.
Natalie Alexander

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