5 Tips for Surviving Finals Week

If you’re anything like me, you would have appreciated some advice going into your first finals week at ICO. Now, I have officially survived two finals weeks. I can offer a little insight, myself.

Finals week is quite the ordeal. There’s no way to sugar coat it. Unless you’re one of those select few people who have been “ahead of the game” all quarter, the week gets pretty rough. It involves minimal sleep, hours of studying, and only two days over a seven day period where you don’t have a final. With that being said, here is a short list of tips to surviving a week of finals at ICO.

  1. Drink coffee
    Coffee is a must for me during finals week. Some people like to do their energy drinks, caffeine pills, or whatever their source is, but I just stick to coffee for the most part. Comparatively, I don’t notice much of a crash. The fact of the matter is that after the first final or two, everyone starts to drag. A cup of coffee can really help to keep the studying going for just a few more hours. Fortunately, the cafeteria staff leaves the coffee and espresso machines on for the duration of the week once finals start.
  2. Form study groups
    This was one thing that I did not utilize so much Fall quarter. It really helps to have a group to talk out key concepts and make sure that everyone is on the same page. It is also beneficial when one member of the group is ready to throw in the towel and call it a night, but the other members encourage everybody to go over that last lecture just one more time. It can be quite motivating.
  3. Take power naps
    Again, this strategy is something I wish I would have tried earlier. There comes a point where no matter how many cups of coffee you’ve had, you just can’t keep your eyes open. This makes it difficult to even retain information. When I reach this point, I’ll go lie down for 30 minutes or so. When I wake up, I’m ready to start studying again and I am able to retain the information much better. I would rather take a quick nap than try to power through a lecture if it means I won’t grasp the concepts.
  4. Change your study location 
    I did the majority of my studying in the Lecture Hall this quarter for finals week, but there were plenty of other places I studied, as well. I feel as though I’m going crazy if I attempt to study for 7 days straight in the same place. This quarter, I was in the library, my room, various places around the RC, off campus, and in whatever lounge I could find around the school. Some people prefer to have their one spot and stick to it all week. I prefer to switch it up in order to preserve my sanity.
  5. Listen to study playlists
    I do prefer silence when I study, but listening to music can keep me studying for longer periods of time. Because of this, I will listen to playlists sometimes. Usually it’s movie soundtracks, sometimes classical music, other times it’s house music. It has to be instrumental for me to focus, though. I love 8tracks because I like that there are no commercials, but I like that Pandora’s playlists change so I use it, too.

So, when you’re preparing for finals week at ICO, make sure you’re stocked up on coffee, have your study groups formed, are prepared to take power naps, have a plan of where you’re going to study, and have your playlists ready to go. The week gets pretty hectic and goes by pretty fast once it starts. However, it certainly is worth it.

The feeling at the end of the week is great when all your classmates go out, or you get to travel back home and see your family, or you just go straight to bed and watch Netflix and nap for hours. During the week, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind. This is my last piece of advice to surviving the week. As my study group liked to remind each other, “We’re all gonna be doctors.”

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