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Alas, we are in the last leg of the semester, which means that it is finals time — aka the time to prove all that you have (hopefully) learned throughout the semester. It’s always a stressful time because you have so many papers, multiple tests, and perhaps even a presentation or two, all in the span of two weeks. And if you are involved in many clubs, all of them like to put on a last event to end the semester on a fun note. This leads to the most chaotic two weeks of your semester, and there’s only so long that coffee can keep you up. To help you out, I have accumulated 12 tips that can help you get a decent amount of sleep during finals week:

  1. Plan, plan, plan! I cannot say it enough. Scheduling your month, week, and day is the best way to stay focused and avoid procrastination. Personally, I am very fond of personal whiteboards, which I mount to my wall. I have one with my week schedule, and another whiteboard for all of my chores and personal needs. Make sure that the whiteboards are in plain sight, so that you can easily seem them multiple times a day. This will remind you of everything that you have to do. I also suggest having an hour-by-hour planner that you can carry around with you at all times. This way, you can write down spur of the moment homework or events and don’t have to worry about writing them on your whiteboard later.
  2. Do not procrastinate. Yes, yes, I know, everyone in your life says this to you during finals week — but really, don’t procrastinate. It’s literally a waste of time, and this is the one thing that you lack during finals. I know that all of your favorite TV shows are airing their mid-season finales, but really, they’re going to be off-air for over a month — trust me, you’ll have time to catch-up.
  3. If you have been assigned essays, and already have the topics prior to finals week, I highly suggest writing them (or at least a rough draft version) ahead of time. This will leave you with more time to study for tests and memorize presentations during finals week.
  4. Edit your essays! If you write an essay, wait a few days, and then read it again, you will be sure to find typos that you wouldn’t have spotted otherwise. It also gives you a fresh look of your paper. The difference between an A and a B can come down to a 15-minute additional editing session of your essay.
  5. Don’t forget to eat and drink. I know that I sound like your mother nagging you, but this is truly a real problem. Oftentimes, students are so busy that they forget to take a sip of anything other than coffee, or they don’t schedule time to eat. Don’t be afraid to multitask! If your boss and/or professor allow it, you can always eat at work and school. If not, snack on something healthy (or chocolate if you’re in that type of a mood) while walking to class or work. If you don’t eat, your blood pressure or blood sugar could drop, leading to a lack of concentration, therefore defeating the purpose of your stress.
  6. Sleep is a rare action during this period, but try to get at least six hours a night. Five-hour-energies can only last for so long.
  7. Don’t stress too much, it’s only a test, presentation, and/or essay. And in the long run, a single grade won’t make that much of a difference in your life.
  8. Don’t forget to take breaks. You’ll be able to concentrate better after a 20-minute break. And for the sake of your sanity, you should take a few personal minutes a day. Granted, you should only deserve a break after multiple hours of working and studying, so don’t take them too excessively.
  9. PLEASE get off of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, 9Gag, and whatever other sites that you use to procrastinate. Find a way to monitor your use of these media. For example, you can have a roommate or friend monitor your use or just give me your laptop to put under lock and key, for the next two weeks (assuming that you don’t have any essays to write).
  10. Make use of school resources. USF has departments that are specifically aimed to help you succeed, such as: CASA and the Learning and Writing Center.
  11. Under no condition are you allowed to go out and party/drink. Not only does this waste your time, but it will leave you feeling tired for an entire day afterwards.
  12. Think about your distant future. You’re so close to winter break that you can almost taste it, so just suffer through these last couple days, and then you can focus on your vacation. Remember your GPA depends on these finals, so you’re better off concentrating on those.

Now go ace those finals!

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