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How to Survive Finals Week

While the start of December brings holiday cheer nationwide, for college students it also brings dread and stress in the form of finals week. Before heading home to enjoy the winter break, students often spend their last few days on campus camped out in the library and pulling all-nighters in their dorm rooms. To help alleviate some of the hassle that comes with finals week, we've collected tried-and-true tips to help you feel fresh, strong, and peaceful during the last few days of the semester.

Get Organized

Whether you're cramming for final exams or working on final papers, one of the keys to succeeding is getting organized. Develop a realistic schedule that works best for you and your nonacademic activities and stick to it. Clear your study space and store distractions, like your phone, out of arm's reach.

Female student pictured in her dorm room studying at her desk

Use Campus Resources

Studying as a group can help make the daunting task a little more exciting. For a simple way to form a study group, use the study buddies feature in the Navigate app. The feature allows you to connect and contact peers from your classes. For additional help, the Student Success Center offers free tutoring through the week leading up to finals. The week before finals also marks the arrival of special guests on campus. Head over to Joslyn Plaza this Friday to manage stress and play with therapy dogs.

Carve Out Time to Recharge

While finding time to study and prepare for final exams is important, carving out time for self-care is just as necessary. Regardless of how you like to unwind—by watching holiday movies, exercising, or taking advantage of Pepperdine's location and going to the beach—it's important that you take an occasional break. Take an hour break from studying, and you'll come back recharged, refreshed, and ready to continue learning.

Don't Take Exams Too Lightly (or Too Seriously)

Overly worrying about an exam can lead to performance anxiety, while not taking exams seriously enough can lead to a lack of proper preparation. To have the confidence you need to feel ready for an exam, spend the bulk of your time studying everything you know will be on the test. Then move on to matters that most likely will be on it. For the remaining time you have, review material that you think might make an appearance.

Male student sitting on an orange blanket on alumni park, unpacking books to study

Get a Good Night's Rest

Although college and all-nighters are synonymous, a good night's sleep before a final is critical. By making a schedule and staying organized, you can guarantee you'll get some shut-eye. Before you settle in for a long night's rest, be sure to double-check your exam time to prevent any last-minute panicking.

Whether you're taking your first college exam or your last one, take a deep breath before you begin and remind yourself that "you've got this." You have successfully completed exams before and will do so again. Best of luck!