Organization, optimization the keys to surviving finals week

This is it: finals week. It’s been looming on the horizon ever since the start of the semester, back in the fringes of a care-free summer. It’s hard to believe yet another semester is winding down. For freshmen, this marks the midway point of their first year, with plenty of college left to experience. For seniors, this is halfway through their final year at UConn – a thought that may be bittersweet.

Regardless of your semester standing, or whether you’re a novice or seasoned veteran of the finals week grind, every UConn student must survive this last push through the semester to get to the reprieve of winter break and the holidays. And oh, what a reprieve it will be.

With all of the chaos in these last weeks of the semester, especially with last-minute projects and term exams that some students have the week preceding final exams themselves, it can be quite easy to get overwhelmed. Organization is more important now than perhaps it’s ever been throughout the semester. Every hour must be optimized, otherwise you may find yourself cramming a semester’s worth of material the night before the final.

It’s important to take stock of what’s really important. Consider what needs to be done now and what can wait a bit. By setting priorities, that mountain of obligations turns into stepping stones that are much more manageable. Also, consider studying material for each class in small portions when time allows, as this will make that final push far less stressful. 

Perhaps the worst part of finals week is the sheer intensity of stress that comes along. Just take a small solace in knowing that you are certainly not alone here. While some stress may actually be helpful, pushing students along to get assignments and studying done, long-term stress can be harmful to your body, leading to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, headaches, anxiety and depression if left untreated, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Fortunately, there’s a lot that can be done to curb all of this stress including taking small study breaks, exercising, taking naps and just hanging out with friends. UConn even brings in therapy dogs to help alleviate some that finals week stress. 

The most important thing to remember is that you are not defined by a final exam. If you truly give it your best, what else can be done? As hard as it may seem, try to relax a bit. And remember that this too, will pass.