Making the grade at the end of the semester is always what counts the most. But for hard-working scholars like myself, classes that wait until the end of the term to pile on all the heavy stuff never make it any easier to give your 100% effort. For me, every year is usually the same: slow start after the first weeks, midterms in October, then over half the syllabus is being assigned right before Thanksgiving! Before you know it you’re cramming final tests, doing 20-page papers in two days, and eating the most unhealthy quick food items in your mini-fridge. I’ll give you a little overview of my final “crunch time” weeks for this semester: three intensive group analysis projects all due within the same two weeks, a final 20-plus-page law paper, a 1,200-word editorial article, six completely unsolvable logic problems, weekly research study assignments on Ulearn and a partridge in a pear tree to top it off all before final exams have started. This was only the icing on the cake for me, not including a 30-plus-hour part-time job and an early Christmas gift in the form of a $300 car repair. Sleep is never an option during this time, and sometimes it’s a toss-up between the gym and studying for a pop quiz. I’m sure this is no different from some of your own “crunch time” stories, but I want to share some helpful tips I’ve learned along the way:
- Prioritize. – Everything in the world may be hitting you at once, but try to figure out what’s the MOST important thing to do right now.
- Don’t Stress! – Because stress can ruin everything, and you’re better than that. So, do as much as you can and take it step by step.
- Take Breaks. Not Shots. – For some people partying during finals may be a huge stress-reliever, but it’s usually just a waste of time. Save the drinks for later and just take quick study breaks with friends.
- Get Enough Sleep. – All-nighters are a good idea. FALSE. No one has ever performed on their toes with grocery bags under their eyes. So get at least 6 to 8 hours!
- Eat. Period. – They’re called starvation headaches and you probably need to eat a good meal. Grab a bite and then come back to your work. Trust me, you’ll feel much better. :)