10 tips to survive finals week: COVID Edition

Editorial Board

Reading day is Tuesday, November 17 and final exams will be Wednesday through Friday.
Photo: iStockphoto

As we all know, finals week is the most stressful time of year for students. With the added layer of a global pandemic, it is even more stressful. Here are some of the Argus’ tips to surviving the week from hell. 

  1. Limit your amount of distractions – With online classes making it almost impossible to rid ourselves of surrounding technology, it’s more important to stay off of your phone, away from the television and away from other family members or roommates who have online meetings of their own. You want to have a separate space away from these things.
  2. Don’t get too comfortable – As most of us are hidden away in our homes, dorm rooms or apartments it’s easy to want to stay in bed or on the couch to try and get work done, but that is unrealistic. Ideally, you need a desk or another space where you are going to be the most productive.
  3. Use Zoom to your advantage – Although we are all probably tired of Zoom or Google Meets at this point, there can be some benefits. In-person activities are almost slim to none and most of us are not used to seeing our classmates throughout the week, but with the increased presence of video applications, we now can have online study groups to help keep us motivated.
  4. Set goals – Instead of trying to accomplish everything in one day or waiting until the last minute, try setting aside time each day. They say 25-minute increments work best.
  5. Book a room in Ames now – Not only are you required to book at least a day in advance, but the rooms also go FAST. All the people who did not go to the library once all semester will suddenly be there. Save yourself the stress of spending half of your study time looking for a place to sit and go here to book your room instead. 
  6. Allow yourself study breaks – Trying to study for hours-on-end with no breaks will not help anything. Make sure that you are allowing yourself time to relax, take a brief walk or check your phone. Find what works best for you but a good rule-of-thumb is one hour of studying followed by 10 minutes of break.  
  7. Make a schedule – It’s important to stay organized and prioritize the last assignments. Knowing when you need to be present for your finals is even more crucial now that oversleeping and missing an exam (a nightmare we’ve all probably had at this point) is a closer reality due to taking the majority of them from home.
  8. Don’t forget to eat – Stress can sometimes cause a lack of appetite or make you forget to eat. Just like your body, your brain needs fuel to work to its full potential. Pack some healthy snacks in your backpack before you head over to the library and reward yourself with some not-so-healthy snacks too (gummy worms anyone??). 
  9. Try to stay positive – This year has been rough on everyone, to say the least. But on the bright side we get a longer break than we usually do, a whole two months actually.  Forget worrying about finals after Thanksgiving, and focus on getting to completely enjoy the holiday season. We can finally get the time needed to relax and recharge, we just need to get through one more week. We can do it.
  10. Celebrate – Reward yourself once the week is over because we all deserve it after all the pain and suffering we have endured this year. Also, take a deep breath release yourself from all that pent up tension. 

Also, keep in mind that COVID cases are on the rise and it is super important to keep wearing masks and maintaining distance not only during finals week but the holiday break as well. Hopefully, by the time we return in the spring, the virus will be under control.