Get through your hell week one step at a time

It’s that time of the year again: people staying up with cups of warm coffee, snuggling up close to their books, and stuffing huge amounts of food into their mouth. I’m talking about finals week, of course. When students gulp down caffeinated drinks just to cram a whole semester’s worth of knowledge into one night. Or when others break down from the pressure and resort to stress eating.

For the students reading this and struggling to meet deadlines: you can do this! There are only about one or two more weeks left and we have these 5 tips to get you through it.

(Related: Tips and Techniques To Stay Sane This Term)


5. Have your drink of choice — but in moderation 

Yes, coffee is unhealthy. No, you probably shouldn’t be having that third energy drink in a row. But the reality is that sometimes you have no other choice to get your work done. Healthier alternatives like water and apples just aren’t going to cut it. Plus, caffeinated drinks have that placebo effect to keep you productive.

Just keep in mind that a little goes a long way. If you’re needing that third cup of coffee already — just take a rest. Your brain isn’t going to absorb anything at that rate.

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4. Remember to actually get some sleep 

In relation to number one: do not deprive yourself of sleep. I’m not talking about a full 8 hours during hell week — that’s just impossible. But going three days or more without a wink of sleep will badly affect your GPA. Squeezing in a few hours each night will do you a world of difference, I promise. It refreshes your brain, allowing you to absorb more information, think of new ideas, and finally finish that last paragraph in your essay.

3. Colored pens and highlighters are your best friend 

I strongly believe in those studies that say color helps with memory retention. The only way I was able to ace my undergrad law units was with the help of my colored pens. That, and rewriting all my notes. The repetitive intake of knowledge makes it stick longer in your mind, while the color signals your brain that this is something to remember.

If you don’t have that kind of time (or if your penmanship just really sucks), that’s what highlighters are for! Less effort, but just as effective.

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2. Dress however you want 

People get so much flak for how they dress during finals week. A large hoodie and leggings? What a slob. A full face of make-up? What a waste of time. No matter what you wear, or how you look, someone will always be there to judge you. So the best thing to do is forget about it and put on whatever you’re comfortable in.

If that oversized t-shirt calms you enough to get through a test, go for it! If you aren’t confident unless your outfit is meticulously color-blocked, then take that extra time to polish yourself. Hell week is as much psychological warfare as it is actual warfare.

1. Know your study habits 

At the end of the day, so many different articles will tell you different things — eat healthily, study in the library, listen to music, etc. But those won’t work for everyone. You might get stuck into studying a certain way only to realize, it’s not effective for you at all. So take some time to think through the best place for you to study, and the right methods to do it through.

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What are you best studying tips? Share them with us — and other readers!