How To: Survive Finals Week

April 29, 2014

Dear Reader,

This week and next week are pretty much the weeks from Hell. In case you’ve never known the particular strangeness and pain of a finals weeks, it is this weird combination of manic work time where you feel so stressed you can’t find time to eat or shower or talk to anyone you love and then… down time where you are so exhausted by the previous manic time you can only really lay on your side and binge watch The Vampire Diaries until you fall asleep. I really wish I had to write a twenty-five page analysis of The Vampire Diaires. I could rock that paper.

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I know a lot of my readers are going through the same stressful period as I am, or at least will be going through it soon. So I thought I would share some of the ways that I have been getting through it. Hopefully then you will emerge from your studying cave with a few shreds of sanity left intact.

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How to Survive Finals Week:

1. Melatonin: It is really likely that your sleep schedule is going to be massively messed up during finals week and the week directly before it. It is also likely that when you actually do have time to sleep your brain is going to be thinking about the Louisiana Purchase or chemistry things. Melatonin supplements are a nice way to fall asleep pretty naturally and sleep soundly. A little will do you, I take half a tablet every once and a while. So don’t be getting crazy. Also, don’t be taking this like every day because then your body will get used to it and no one needs that nonsense. But having it on hand for a series of weeks like this is really helpful.

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2. Apples: Or another kind of fruit, really. But I like apples. The finals week desire for chocolate and fun-dip is well-documented. Don’t gain ten pounds in finals week from a combination of stress and replacing all your meals with Kit-Kats.  Grab an apple and feel that satisfying crunch. Clementines are good too. Not only will they give you energy and not drain you later, they won’t make you feel like your stomach is made of marshmallows and you will never be desirable again.

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3.Videos of cats being annoyed by dogs who just want to love them: This one pretty much stands for any hilarious animal (or baby etc.) video that has gone viral on YouTube for no real reason other than that it makes you cry with joy and hold your stomach and cry “It hurts! It hurts so good!” You need to watch something besides the words dancing on the page before you. Take a couple videos long break.

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4.Tulips: Go to Whole Foods and buy yourself a bouquet of tulips, find a vase, and set those up in your room. You will look at them while you study and remember that outside exists. You will also remember that it is spring and somewhere in the world there are beautiful things. You may even be able to imagine yourself after finals week frolicking through meadows and receiving or giving flowers to significant others before holding hands and skipping off on a date to see all those movies you haven’t had time to see because you are trying to memorize all the authors in the eighteenth century who used animal imagery.

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5.Crazy Stupid Love/almost any episode of Gilmore Girls/any movie with a studying montage: Sometimes we feel unable to go on. When this happens turn on one of these things to perk you back up. In Crazy Stupid Love Emma Stone is gorgeous and gets to touch Ryan Gosling’s abs a lot. She also passes the bar in the film, all while looking flawless. I find it inspirational. It also makes me feel like maybe my finals week prize will be Ryan Gosling. So there’s that. The same (minus Ryan Gosling) works for any episode of Gilmore Girls or a movie with a studying montage. Add some eighties music to a bunch of shots of people cracking books, falling asleep on books, becoming miraculously smarter, going to Yale… watch that and you will be back in the game in no time.

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