As much as we’d all like to pretend they aren’t happening, finals are coming. Finals start in less than two weeks, right after the incredibly generous single reading day that Tufts has given us. Some of us will not come out of finals week the same, but here are some tips for surviving the week we’ve been dreading all semester, most of which come from bitter experience.
1. Don’t take a “nap” at 10 p.m. and expect yourself to be up early the next morning. Naps after 4 p.m. are no longer naps — that’s just called “going to bed early.”
2. Do give yourself a few personal hours throughout the day. Your brain can only take in so much information before facts and formulas start to go right over your head. An episode of “How to Get Away with Murder” (2014 – present) will simultaneously provide you with some study relief and help you study for your Constitutional Law class.
3. Don’t be indecisive when it comes to going to the library. If you plan on going, get there when it opens or don’t go at all. Otherwise, you’ll spend an hour and a half roaming around campus just to discover that Tisch, Ginn, Eaton, Lilly — as well as all the empty classrooms — are already in use.
4. Do organize your study schedule before finals week so that you know what you have to accomplish each day. If you don’t have any goals for the day, chances are you will get much less done than you need to.
5. Don’t pull all-nighters. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip: if you plan your study schedule ahead of time and balance everything out, you presumably won’t need to stay up all night. If you absolutely have to, make sure you don’t pull one close to an exam! That way, you’ll have time to get your sleeping schedule back to what it used to be.
6. Do — especially if you’re on a low meal plan and can handle studying with noise — take advantage of the dining halls. You could have all three meals for the price of one swipe and, though spending 10 hours a day for a week in Dewick may be sad to some, the most important part of surviving finals is keeping your energy and motivation levels up. What better way to do this than with various forms of potatoes and an endless stream of coffee?
7. Don’t lose hope. If Frodo, the most annoying “Lord of the Rings” character ever (seriously, he couldn’t do anything and was always falling), can take the ring to Mordor, you can also make a valiant effort to get through finals week.
8. Do ingest things other than caffeine. You might be so hopped up on caffeine that by the time it’s 7 p.m. you realize the only thing you’ve consumed that day has been three cups of black coffee. If you tend to be sensitive to caffeine, take it easy with some black tea instead.
9. Don’t trust that little voice in your head telling you that just looking at your notes, smelling them or putting them under your pillow will somehow magically transmit this information into your brain. That’s not how life works. Flipping through pages of your genetics textbook without blinking doesn’t mean that you’ll suddenly understand how DNA replication works — it just means that your eyes will get very dry and start to water. If you want to really review (or learn in case you dozed off during that particular lecture), you actually have to read the material.
10. Finally, do, in the immortal words of Donna (Rhetta) and Tom (Aziz Ansari) from “Parks and Recreation” (2009 – 2015), “treat yo self” when your last final is over. Order that celebratory Blue Zone, have a party with your close friends, watch the entirety of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (2001 – 2003) by yourself and cry profusely during Sam’s monologue at the end of “The Two Towers” (2002) — whatever floats your boat. And just remember, winter break is only a few days away!
Good luck to all, and may the finals odds be ever in your favor (but not all of you — we still need that curve).