College, Life Journey, Uncategorized

A Grad Student’s Guide to Finals Week

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and were able to spend it surrounded by family, friends and some delicious food. I know for me it was absolutely wonderful. It’s always so nice to have quality time with the family. The break from school work was also much needed, my mind was in desperate need of a little time off!

I’m not sure how everyone else feels, but since getting back from Thanksgiving break it feels as though I never even had a break at all. I have been swamped in assignments, group projects and preparing for the oh so dreaded finals week.

For me, finals week is about 2 weeks away, and even as a second year graduate student I still get anxious. I don’t think there is anything more depressing then walking around a college campus during finals weeks, especially during the fall semester. It’s cold, snowy, campus begins to look empty, and everywhere you go everyone around you is stressed, tired and just wants to go home! 

I know for me it is so easy to get caught in the finals week blues. All I want to do is snuggle up in a blanket with a warm cup of hot chocolate and binge on Hallmark Christmas movies. The very last thing I want to do is study, even the thought just makes me cringe.

But finals week does NOT have to be as scary as we work them up to be. It is all about our attitude! It may seem like there is just too much to do in too little time, but with enough preparation and the right mindset finals week doesn’t have to be the depressing end to your semester!


Here are a few of my favorites tips to help you survive and conquer this final weeks!

Plan Plan Plan

It may seem a little over the top, but create a plan. Out of any tip I could possibly give, this is probably the one I find the best to conquering finals week. If you know when each of your finals are ahead of time, create a study plan based around the order of your exams. For me I like to start studying about a week in advance, prioritizing by the exams I have first or the ones with the most material on them. This helps prevent those dreaded nights of cramming the day before your exam, cause let’s be real we’ve all been there and there is nothing fun about it! So what are you waiting for? Go create your study plan!

Find Your Happy Place

Whether it’s the library, the student center or a quaint little coffee shop; find a place where you can be productive, but also a place where you feel comfortable! For me, it’s the third floor of our student center. It is a hidden gem on campus, a place where few people can be found making it peacefully quiet. It also has floor to ceiling windows creating a warm and bright environment to study in!

Have a Study Buddy

This is definitely my second favorite tip! Having someone to study with not only keeps you accountable and focused, but I always find it much more fun than sitting and studying alone for hours on end. Plus, when studying with others they might understand something you did not and vice versa making it a prime learning opportunity for the both of you!

Take Time for Yourself

I know I know, this one always seems impossible when you drowning in studies and feel like you can’t one second away from the books or every piece of information will fly away out of your brain! But, no! I promise that will not happen, and taking time to take care of you, is the best thing you can do! Watch an episode of your favorite episode on Netflix, spend time reading a book you enjoy, or maybe just take some time to sit, relax doing nothing at all. Whatever it is you like to do, make sure you are taking some time away from the books and enjoy something that makes you happy!

Treat Yourself

You just took how many exams in how little time? I think you definitely deserve to treat yourself after all that hard work! Plus, this gives you something to look forward throughout the week, well besides going home! For me, it is the biggest bowl of ice cream I can imagine!

Now you have everything you need to know to tackle this finals week! We don’t have to have the finals week blues.

Remember to smile and shine with confidence! Good luck to you all this finals week! I know you are all going to crush your exams!

Best Wishes,


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