What’s going on Butcher Crew it’s ya girl, your Master Butcher, The Saw and finals are creeping up on us!! It’s like this semester flew by and we are now almost on break. Thank God. BUT one thing stands in our way of being stress-free and relaxed… and that is FINALS; one of the most stressful times in a student’s academic career. But have no fear, the Saw is here to survive finals week; aka, “Hell Week.” Now, when I say “butcher,” I don’t mean failing your exams. I own a Butcher Shop, so I need to use some play-on words sometimes. You know how people sometimes say, “I killed it,” or “I crushed it” when they finish something that took a lot of time? Yeah, that’s what I mean by butcher.
I have several papers and final projects I need to finish and I have started them this week. I know finals can be a very stressful period for students during this time. It’s also so easy just to tell yourself “you have more time” and you will “do a lot of work tomorrow,” but end up staying on your phone, watching a movie or a TV show, or talking to your friends and family. Trust me, I have been there; but I have a few tips that I have been practicing that has helped me prepare and finish my finals with less stress!
Plan ahead: I look at the days all of my finals are due and write them down in my calendar. When the deadline gets a little over a month away, I start to write down when I am going to start researching and working on my finals. This reminds me that I need to start looking at ideas and topics to use for my assignments. I would also write down the days that you want to begin working on your projects. I usually do research two weeks before the assignments are due, I then write and do more research a week before due date, and finally the week they are due, I will make some final touches before I turn them in. Professors usually have assignments in the course that help you plan for your finals. It’s better to plan ahead so you can have more time!
Have a research week: Usually, a week before I start the writing process of my final papers, I will take a week to read textbooks, articles, primary sources, secondary sources, and any texts that will provide information to my topic. I take notes on these readings and this helps me begin thinking about how I want to form my paper and which way I want to go with it. This also helps you begin to write your paper; you will already have ideas that you can go ahead and write about (don’t forget to cite your sources in the correct citation format). It’s okay if you don’t get all of your research done that week! You will have more time to do more research if you need to.
Begin with the first thing that is due: After your week of research, the following week When having so many assignments to look after, I usually start with the first thing that is due since I will have less days. Then, I will work on the next thing that is due, and so on. I have an easy hint that will help you finish your assignments in a less stressful manner: divide the assignment throughout each day. For example, I have a 15-page papers due one week. Now, this isn’t so bad because I am going to write 3 pages a day for 5 days (I usually do Monday – Friday). That is a piece of cake! It doesn’t make the workload seem that big when you are writing a few pages a day. Do this with each of your assignments and you will have your assignments done a few days before the deadline in no time! By doing this, you will have time each day to do more research for your papers while you are writing. You can also use the weekends to do extra work if you need more time to work on your assignments. Then on the day your assignments are due, all you will have to do is turn them in!
Listen to a final exam playlist: Music makes everything better. Especially working on finals, it will help you concentrate on your work since you won’t get distracted by the things around you. I have a few playlists that I like to listen to while I am working. Sometimes I like to listen to metal because there’s just something about it that keeps me productive and glued to my work. I also like some more lo-fi/R&B playlists that also soothe me while I am writing.
Take breaks: It’s okay to take some breaks here and there! You gotta eat and use the bathroom at some point! I like to work for an hour/hour and a half, without getting distracted, and then take a 30-minute break. This will help me relax my mind so it is refreshed to do some more work. This is also when I will talk to my roommates, text my friends and family back, and get on social media. I set a timer so I know when to get working again. I usually put my phone across the table from me so I am not tempted to get on it. This has worked so much.
Don’t be too hard on yourself: Hype yourself up and tell yourself you’ve done a good job. You are doing the best you can and performing at the best of your ability and that’s all that matters. You’re getting it done and you are killing it! Be proud of yourself and everything that you have done. You can either be your biggest fan or worst enemy.
Finals are a stressful time, but hopefully these tips can help you survive finals and be less stressed. And always remember, finals week isn’t as stressful and terrifying as The Saw’s Butcher Shop 😉
What are some tips and tricks that have helped you survive finals?
You got this!
Some of my favorite albums/playlists: