Letter to Myself During Finals Week

By Jordan McNeil

Okay, here it is: finals week. You’ve got this, you really do. This semester isn’t going to be like previous ones — I mean, at least not any more than it already has with the procrastination and poor time-management skills. This is the chance to redeem yourself, to finally change your bad school-related habits.

It’ll be easy. Just log yourself out of Netflix, don’t sit anywhere near a video game console and keep your phone on silent and away from you. I mean, that’s what everyone’s been telling you since undergrad, so there’s got to be some truth to it. It can’t hurt to try it, anyway.

Okay, so maybe it won’t be such a breeze to accomplish. I know it’s hard to keep up motivation this late in the game — winter break is almost literally within sight, and all you want to do is be there already, sleeping in and finally reading for fun and watching adorable videos of baby goats.

Trust me, I understand. There are so many things that sound more appealing than sitting down at your computer for hours whittling away at long, final papers, or than curling up with a textbook and notes studying for what seems like forever for one 3-hour test. I get it. But this week is standing in your way regardless, so you may as well try to tackle it the best you can.

Now, I’m not saying you can’t do some fun things during this week too. It’s all about moderation. Finish writing six pages in one sitting? Reward yourself with an episode of your favorite TV show, or maybe a chapter of that novel that’s been sitting neglected this semester. Studied for four hours straight so far? Put it down for a little bit and play a short game, or maybe go out with some friends for a short social hour and coffee. Taking breaks during this stressful week is healthy and important — just don’t let them become the only things you’re doing.

Sleep is also important. I mean, it always is, but especially so at the moment. Your brain and your body need the sleep to recharge on a regular basis. Don’t pull an all-nighter with zero sleep to finish your paper or study for a test happening the next day unless you have no other choice. I know from experience that your body will hate you for it later. If you have to pull long hours, try to squeeze in at least a couple hours of sleep in there somewhere to give yourself a rest. You’ll be no good at that presentation or test if you’re falling asleep during it.

You can do it; you possess the ability to make it through this finals week at least relatively unscathed. Then you’ll finally be on break and can take that handful of weeks to relax. But first, finals week.

You’ve got this.

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