10 Issues You Run Into During Finals Week (And How You’re Going To Cope With Them)

If you attend a school that operates on a semester schedule, finals are upon you. The sun is shining and doing your schoolwork becomes increasingly difficult with all the other fun-in-the-sun activities there are to do outside. Who wants to be stuck up in a library when you could be relaxing on the quad with all your best buds? Not me, and probably not you either. Here, the 10 issues you’re probably running into and how you’re going to cope with them.

1. The sun is finally out, but you’re stuck inside. If you go to a school where the weather is nice year round, consider yourself lucky. This one doesn’t apply to you. The sun is out and you should not have to be stuck inside the library on this beautiful day. Your body needs the vitamin D, so maybe you can study tonight instead?

How to Cope: Try studying anywhere except at the library. It’s full of sad, sad souls moping about wishing they could be anywhere but there. You don’t need that energy in your space. At the bare minimum, and if your attention span can handle it, try studying by a window. That way you can still sort of enjoy the nice day.

2. The workload never seems to end. Simply because it doesn’t end. Professors and TAs thinking it is a stellar idea to throw out a random assignment to “help you on your final” that is really just busy work… not cool, dudes. 

How to Cope: As hard as it is, try to space out your work. Stay organized and don’t put off that small assignment just because it seems meaningless. Just get it out of the way and you’ll feel better.

3. Suddenly that pal you haven’t seen in forever wants to get Froyo. You have to go, right? You like totally have to catch up… And it’s nice out. You’re craving froyo. Perfect excuse. Bonus excuse: You need a study break. Facebook these past couple of hours have been really difficult.

How to Cope: Go get froyo, just set a time limit. Let your friend know that you can only be out for 30 minutes and enjoy those thirty minutes. Then get back to work. Study breaks are proven to be effective, so go ahead. Enjoy your froyo guilt free. Just don’t forget to get back to studying… eventually. 

4. Facebook/Twitter/Instagram are much prettier this time of year/you’re kind of easily distracted. It’s beautiful outside and all the pictures are so much nicer. *Sigh* I’m not only stuck inside, but I’m missing prime Instagramming time, you think to yourself. It’s like social media is calling you and begging you to be distracted and fail out of the school that you (or your parents) are paying 60K to go to.

How to Cope: Social media is never as great as we think it is — ever. Try limiting yourself to only checking it once or twice throughout working, or maybe only check it while you’re getting food. If you have a serious problem, you might want to consider deleting the apps and deactivating your accounts until finals are over.

5. Suddenly you desire to pick up every hobby known to mankind. Never knitted before? Well finals season is obviously the time to start.

How to Cope: Just don’t. If you need a distraction, go for a run outside or hit the gym. After a good workout, you will find yourself more motivated to focus on your work. And the endorphins released in your brain are good for memorization skills! That’s a win-win. Get a good workout in to look good in that crop top and you study more effectively. 

6. Everything just looms over your head. Even IF you do somehow miraculously get all your work done for the day, you cannot even enjoy a nice, peaceful evening because, well, there is always something else that can be done.

How to Cope: Stay organized. You’ve heard it since before you got to junior high. But seriously. Figure out what works for you, and stick to it. If you have a strict to-do list planned out for each day and stick with it, once you finish your list for that day, it’ll be so much easier to relax and enjoy an evening full of you getting yourself 12 episodes deeper into the Netflix series you swore you wouldn’t start watching… 

7. Day drinks everywhere. Walk down past all the fraternities. (Do they not have finals or something? How is everyone drinking on a Monday?) It’s so tempting to stop and smell the roses (theoretically, of course). But nope. You gotta get to the library. Darn your overeager-beginning-of-the-semester self for thinking it was a good idea to take that 400 level course all your friends warned you about!

How to Cope: They’re probably failing all their classes. Well, you don’t know that, but keep telling yourself that. Plus: think of all the alcoholic calories they’re ingesting and feel even better. One day you’re going to be a superstar and you can have THIS DAY to thank for it.

8. Tests on tests on tests on projects on essays. Finals would be easier if teachers just settled and all did the same thing. How are you supposed to keep all of your projects/essays/tests/reflections/etc. straight when every class has some different form of torture?

How to Cope: Would you really want to write 6 essays? Study for 6 finals? Probably not. Think of the benefits. Now you can use all parts of your brain instead of over-anxiously studying. Go get yourself some caffeine (but be careful not to overdo it) and get to those projects, essays, and study for those exams!

9. It’s the end of the school year, and that means going home is right around the corner. Why can’t everyone be from the same place and you can all stay together forever?! (Hint: because that would be high school all over again. And nobody wants to be back in high school for 8+ years – yikes.)

How to Cope: Your friends will be back (unless they’re graduating… then that’s rough) and you guys will be able to hang out all together again and do whatever crazy shenanigans you’re into. If you live close enough, you can even make weekend trips to see each other over the summer. Skype and FaceTime are wonderful things and you don’t have to go more than 24 hours without seeing each other’s face if you really don’t want to. 

10. It seems hopeless. But it’s not! Once you get through these, you can rage all you want, and enjoy the summer! So stop procrastinating and go get some work done!

How to Cope: Focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re there for a reason, and the satisfaction of getting those final grades back and feeling awesome about them for the whole summer is enough to help you push through. If nothing else, think of it as taking precautionary measures so you don’t end up having to raise your GPA next year. Because if there’s nothing worse than this year’s finals, it’s worrying even more about next year’s. TC Mark

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