1. Try to do all of your studying THIS WEEK, not during Finals Week. As tempting as it is to save your studying for Finals Week, when you have no classes and all of the free time in the world, DON’T. When you’re hours away from taking a final exam, the last thing you need to be doing is stress-cramming. I’ve found if I do the majority of my studying and re-learning during Dead Week, I feel more relaxed and prepared during Finals Week, which makes a HUGE difference for my grades and my sanity. Instead of freaking out and staying up late studying, I can spend my free time during Finals Week doing things like packing for the summer and spending time with friends I won’t get to see for the next three months. Trust me, the initial pain is worth it in the end.
  2. Make a plan. Have you ever sat down with the intention to study, and then have no idea where to start? I’ve wasted hours of designated studying time just trying to figure out what material I was going to cover and how I was going to learn it. If you plan ahead of time and figure out the details before you sit down to start working, you will get a lot more done. The Academic Success Center has super-helpful schedule templates that you can use to block out every hour of your time. They also have cool worksheets that you can use to organize your study materials. Go to for all of the resources you need to get your Dead Week study plan in order.
  3. Avoid the library at all costs! (Or go during odd hours.) Parks Library during Dead Week is comparable to the mall on Black Friday. Everyone is running on adrenaline and caffeine, the whole building is crammed elbow-to-elbow, and someone, somewhere, is willing to kill someone to get that flat-screen TV (or, in this case, a seat with a nearby outlet.). I would advise you to just stay out of the library all week if you can. Turn your apartment into a "no-distractions zone" for the week instead, or finally take advantage of those study rooms on your dorm floor. If you run out of options for a quiet study space and have to go to Parks, try to go at times when it won’t be too populated. You would think that would mean at 11pm, but it’s actually the least crowded in the mornings. Get up early and claim that coveted outlet spot!
  4. Go to every “optional” class. There’s nothing better than hearing that you don’t have to attend class! But why risk missing out on information that could possibly be the determining factor between getting an A or a B? Professors are sneaky, and if they tell you that a class period is “optional” during Dead Week, they’re probably planning on revealing at least one test question while the slackers stay home in bed. It’s so tempting to skip out and study in the comfort of your own home, but you could be missing out on valuable information. It’s worth it to go to every class, every time.
  5. Take frequent study breaks. Studying for hours at a time can push even the strongest to the brink of insanity. Taking study breaks and getting any form of fresh air or sunshine is the key to avoiding a mental breakdown. Even though it feels like you’re too swamped with work to take a break, you can’t be productive if your brain is mush from too much stress and focusing. Just removing yourself from your studying environment can be enough to reboot your brain and give you the energy to keep going. Emerge from your dark cave of textbooks and tears for a few hours every day and do something that makes you feel alive, like going on a walk, listening to music, or laughing with a good friend.
  6. Take care of your mind and body. A lot of college students tend to get sick around Finals Week. This happens because when our minds are stressed out, our bodies get stressed out, and our immune systems become more susceptible to the bacteria and viruses around us. To avoid getting miserably sick during the last few weeks of school, you have to take extra measures to make sure your body is getting what it needs. This means eating healthy, exercising regularly, drinking lots of fluids, and getting plenty of sleep. It’s easy to forget to do your basic self-care routine when you’re freaking out about a test or a paper. But unless you want to be that one guy with the sniffles in a dead silent exam room, you should make the time in your schedule to take care of yourself. I hope everyone has a great Dead Week and Finals Week but an even better summer. The end of the school year is in sight!