How to Survive Finals Week Without Losing Your Mind

Finals week can be a stressful time for a lot of students. It is understandable because your semester comes down to these last days and how well you prepared for your exams. It is a time when even the brightest and most brilliant students feel the pressure to get good grades while wondering whether they’ve prepared enough.

However, like any other challenge, you can manage finals week through proper preparation and a positive attitude. We’ve compiled some useful tips you can adopt to make finals week a more comfortable experience and improve your grades.

Start Early

Start preparing for your finals early in the semester. Most students who go into panic mode during finals week are those who feel they did not adequately prepare for the exams. So, they try to compensate by pulling all-nighters to absorb the material. Create a plan for studying the material gradually instead of waiting for the final two or three weeks to cover it all.

Have a Study Space

As a college student, you should always have a good place to study, free from noise and distractions. You can create your own study space in your quarters by having a desk, proper lighting, and a comfortable chair. All you would have to do is limit your distractions from your phone and other electronics. You can also find external study spaces like libraries, coffee shops, empty classrooms, and more, but it’s better to have some noise-canceling headphones.

Get Enough Sleep

The common misconception that has almost become a norm is that when studying for finals, you should study day and night to succeed. You will not need to pull constant all-nighters if you start studying early in the semester. Sleep is vital for retaining information, and it improves your ability to concentrate. So, accommodate sleep in your schedule, and if you struggle to get quality sleep, try doing the following:

  • Avoid caffeine hours before bed.
  • Stop using screens like laptops, smartphones, and even TVs before your sleep.
  • Avoid overeating before sleep; it makes you uncomfortable.
  • Take a warm shower before sleeping.

So don’t stay up late browsing sites like If your sleep struggles persist, it might be time to consult a professional.

Combine Different Study Methods

Different people respond to different studying techniques. As a college student, it’s essential to understand the methods you respond to by exploring different ones. For example, some study well with flashcards, while others are successful when reading aloud. It is also good to understand that some techniques will work with some classes but not others, so adapt accordingly.

Avoid Procrastination

It is easy to procrastinate when you feel overwhelmed or anxious, but succumbing to it worsens the real problem. When you feel the urge to procrastinate, for example, by browsing social media, take a breath or two, accept that you are feeling anxious, and mandate yourself to stay focused on your current task.

Take Breaks

Take breaks while studying instead of trying to work for hours straight. For example, you can take 5 minutes every hour to refresh your mind. It’s easy to lose concentration when studying for extended periods without stopping. When taking a break, step away from the books and engage in activities like stretching, yoga, meditation, or having a snack. 

Stay Positive

The period leading to finals can be exhausting, and it’s easy to get frustrated when some things aren’t going your way. However, you should maintain a positive attitude and be your biggest supporter. Adopt positive self-talk and encourage yourself to keep going whenever you feel discouraged or afraid.

Eat Healthy

Staying energized throughout finals week is important; eating healthily helps achieve that. Eat regularly and prioritize healthier choices with lower fat and sugar quantities. Eat more fruits and vegetables, including protein and healthy carbs, to give yourself enough energy. Feel free to have a snack occasionally but load up on them. Remember also to stay hydrated, and if you want to stay awake, consider coffee as your source of caffeine.

Reward Yourself When It’s Over

Reward yourself when you get through finals week. Find a way to unwind and have some fun or deserved rest, maybe by hanging out with friends, watching a film, or sleeping. You can even plan the reward before the actual finals week to give yourself extra motivation.

Closing Remarks

After your finals and the deserved break, take an opportunity to assess your semester and think about where you might have done better. It will help you become better prepared for the coming semester. Then, understand that results will not always go your way, and the best way to approach it is through constructive criticism.