If your university is on the same calendar as mine, you’re quickly approaching (or have already started) the most daunting time of the year: finals week.
Even if you’ve stayed on top of everything the entire semester, there’s something about this week that sends everyone’s stress levels through the roof and makes procrastination so much more appealing.
I’m going to say something that may be a little controversial (please don’t come after me): I think finals week is actually better than most other parts of the semester. Why? Well, you have so much more time for starters. During finals, you don’t have class, your extracurriculars have died down, and somehow finals are a great excuse to get out of being scheduled to work. So now, you’re left with completely free days to study and get work done.
However, that’s not always how it happens. When you think you have 12 hours to study, you somehow always end up procrastinating and doing pointless things for 11 of them and cramming everything into the last hour. Which, of course, is a horrible way to study.
I think the best tip for handling finals week is what I call “scheduling your procrastination.” I make a point to plan out a bunch of non-studying activities, so that then I’m left with short blocks set off for studying. When you only think you have a 2-hour window to study, you tend to be a lot more productive (even if you have 6 of these windows planned out). These breaks also are a great way to manage stress, because you know that these windows are blocked off for things that aren’t studying, so you avoid the guilt you’d usually feel when procrastinating.
With that being said, here are my favorite ways to “schedule my procrastination” during finals week:
- Take a bubble bath
In a post about reducing stress, y’all had to expect that this was coming. This is my first year in an apartment with a bathtub, and I only really started enjoying the fact that I have a bathtub about two weeks ago. There’s just something wonderful about dropping a bath bomb into the tub and pulling out a good book – I’m also terrible at making time to read, so this is a wonderful combination of two great things.
(P.S.: check out those wonderful LUSH bath bombs – they’re vegan, smell amazing, and look ridiculously cool when you drop them into a tub. There’s a ton more but those are my two favorites at the moment.)
2. Go out for brunch/dinner with friends
While I’ve suggested both brunch and dinner, I’m 100% on the brunch train for this. All of the great brunch places in Athens are super crowded on the weekends, so weekdays are the best time to go. Since you don’t have classes during the week during finals, it’s easy to make plans with friends and go get some great food. Bonus point: if forces you to wake up at least somewhat early so you don’t waste the whole day away by sleeping until 1 p.m.
3. Yoga/some form of workout
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed with Pure Barre. I’m usually at the studio about 6 days a week, and it’s one of the biggest things I miss about Athens when I’m home for the summer or on vacation. I’m pretty good at scheduling time even during the semester to work out, but during finals week it’s fun to try different things – one of my friends really wants to try yoga, and there’s a bomb little yoga studio in Athens called Rubber Soul, so I’m taking her there one day this week.
4. Shopping (either of the online or in-person variety)
Accept this advice at your own risk – I always end up buying so much when I go shopping during the holiday season. Between the awesome sales and actually needing to stock up on things for my study abroad, I’ve already made a sizable dent in my wallet via online shopping. I’ve got a few gift cards to redeem from my birthday, so I’ll still be going out shopping at least once this weekend. This is also an awesome time to do any Christmas shopping you haven’t already- two birds with one stone
5. Play with puppies
I’m glad UGA understands college students, because every finals week there’s at least 3 events that feature puppies to play with. Animals are the best stress reliever – if you can somehow swing a trip home or convince your parents to bring your dogs to you, that’s even better.
So if you need me for the next week, I’ll likely either be doing one of these four things or I’ll have my nose in a book – happy studying, y’all!