Finals Week Fear

By: Shania Lipinski

(SETON HILL, Pa.) – Imagine you are driving back to campus after Thanksgiving break. You are thinking about how rejuvenated you feel after spending the week with your family. You only have two weeks of the semester left and you are excited to be taking this drive for the final time, as you will be home again before you know it. As you get back to your dorm, you begin to realize that you have a final exam the next morning that you told yourself before leaving for break that you would study for. Not only did you not study for your exam, you now have two papers due on Tuesday that you did not start and a project that you had all semester to complete that is now due in three days. On top of that, you need to complete your lab report that is 20% of your final grade and your reflection journal of the past twenty hours of observation that you did that you no longer remember, since you swore that you would remember everything that you did because it was “simple enough.” The realization hits that you are now entering what experts call “Hell” or “Finals Week,” the last one to two weeks of the semester where everything is due at the same time as if your professors planned it. Now before you start stressing yourself into cold sweats and the shakes, I have tips for you that will get you ready to conquer these next two weeks:


  1. Get plenty of sleep.

I know what you’re thinking: “This is the same advice I always hear. ‘Get enough sleep and all of your problems will disappear.’ I don’t think so. Now, excuse me as I stay up until 5 am to get my group project that I waited until the last possible second to do.” As easy as it can be to get caught up in hours of reading the same set of notes over and over again, you are not going to remember anything of value if you do not sleep well. A tired brain is not a brain that will absorb information. Do your best to get valuable, well-deserved sleep. 

  1. Take breaks.

It may feel that there is just too much to do and not enough time to do it. As tempting as it would be to work on a paper for six hours straight in order to get all seven pages of it done in a shorter amount of time, taking breaks is going to not only help you keep your sanity, but it will also allow you to look at your paper with a fresh perspective and a new set of eyes. Sometimes, it is important to let your work sit, so you can look at it from a different angle.

  1. Map it out.

Of course looking at twelve different assignments that are due over the course of seven days can be very overwhelming, and even anxiety-inducing, to look at it. Taking the time to map out exactly what needs to be done when will make it so much easier for you to be able to get things accomplished. Sometimes the quickest, and most effective, way to get things done is to take it one step at a time. 

  1. Most importantly, above all else, all of this is temporary.

Looking back on your college years, you will not remember the stress of getting what feels like a month of assignments done in a matter of five days. You will remember the Lowe Late Night runs with your roommate or doing homework with your friends at the local tea shop. You will remember how you went on a ghost tour during homecoming weekend or how you went to Christmas on the Hill sitting next to the greatest friends that you have ever come to know. Finals Week is not forever. You will accomplish everything that you need to accomplish and you will get the grade that you deserve. This, too, shall pass.


The photo was taken by Haley Brenny of student Rebekah Daniszewski