Tips for Surviving College Finals

Posted on Dec 7th, 2016 | College

Dead week. Probably the most anticipated week of the fall semester. Well, maybe just after homecoming week. But it often leaves students feeling a little more ‘dead’ than refreshed and ready to go for finals.

Below I’ve shared a list of four things that help me relax and stay less stressed during dead week and finals.

Avoid distractions.          

The first thing I do when I procrastinate is clean. Those of you that know me personally, know that cleaning is far from my favorite thing to do. Next, I get cozy in bed or on the couch with my phone or computer and search everything possible. After scrolling through my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feeds 15 times, I might be able to convince myself to study. 

I can be extremely focused and motivated, but I still feel the need to see what funny video I got tagged in on Facebook. Lucky for me, there apps to help stop those distractions for the time being. The one I use on my Mac is SelfControl but if you google ‘free distraction blocking apps’ there will be options for your computer, tablet, cell phone and other electronic devices. You simply download the app, add the sites you need to avoid, select an amount of time they need to be blocked for and go on your way.

Make a schedule.

Once you have figured out the lowest grade you can get on the final and still get your desired grade in the class, make a studying schedule. I’ll take each class and put what section(s) I am going to study on a specific day. I’ve never been one to schedule studying by time, so this way works best for me. I give myself incentives along the way that make studying worthwhile. Once I have completed X, Y and Z then I treat myself to a Netflix show or a nap.

Set up your study space.

Some people prefer to study in public places such as the library, Starbucks, the Union, Panera or any other location with tables and free Wi-Fi. My personal favorite is in the comfort of my own home. I’ve read several articles that say you should only sleep in your bedroom, but that’s also where my desk is. As long as I don’t study while sitting on my bed, I generally stay focused and get things done. I keep snacks, a drink and anything else I might need in close reach. This also helps with my focus so I am not thinking about where things are if I need them. 

Sometimes I use essential oils and essential oil candles when I am feeling stressed or need to relax. These are awesome to have while studying because they help you relax and can help reduce stress. One of my favorites is the stress relief candle from Bath & Body Works which is a Eucalyptus Spearmint scent. Lavender, cedarwood, and peppermint are all oils I like to diffuse during this time as well. Google is your friend if you are interested in learning more about which oils to use.


Thank you, Parks and Rec for this wonderful episode and catchy phrase. For those of you who aren’t sure what I’m talking about, let me explain. Donna, Tom and Ben (three characters from NBC’s Parks and Recreation) spend a day treating themselves to things such as clothes, fragrances, massages, mimosas, fine leather goods and maybe even a Batman costume. 

This goes without saying, but YOU should also treat yourself. Here are some things I do to treat myself: get my nails done, get a pedicure, buy a new outfit, buy a nice steak for dinner, and get a massage.

Remember: If you don’t treat yo self, you cheat yo self.

As you plow through dead week and survive finals, remember these helpful tips.

Good luck, Boilers!

Do you have anything that helps you get through dead week and finals? Where is your favorite place to study? How do you treat yourself? Email me or tweet me at

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