How to Thrive During Finals Week

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts and Her Campus Media. All words and opinions are my own.

How to Thrive During Finals Week - College Finals Guide // ew & pt

A lot of posts are all about surviving during finals week, but this soo isn’t Darwinism. Finals week is about thriving and being your best, most academic and learnèd self. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all had a finals week meltdown at some point whether it be throwing flashcards out of a window (and then picking them up because you actually REALLY needed them) or even full on crying under a table (even though you don’t know why you’re under a table). That’s okay. Really, I understand.

This finals week, though, you’re going to THRIVE. You’re going to be a beautiful, blossoming flower. You will not only ace your finals but also maintain your happiness and sanity levels as much as possible.

1. Pencil in time for social interaction.

If you’re an extrovert (like me), this is especially crucial. While you should avoid slacking off from your studies entirely and making finals week into a social outing, you should absolutely pencil in a lunch date, movie or studying session with friends.

The trick here is to set a time limit so this doesn’t turn into procrastination.

2. Try a change of scenery.

Sometimes you can only handle so much of your beige dorm room walls and the silence of the library. Hit up your favorite coffee shop and crank out some papers. Sit outside and enjoy some sunshine while you work.

The trick here is to know yourself. If you know that being outside or being in a coffee shop is going to distract you more than it is going to help you, limit your time there. It’s all about limiting and balancing.

How to Thrive During Finals Week - College Finals Guide // ew & pt

3. Get some sunshine and fresh air.

This can work wonders for the spirit. You can bring your work out there or just go for a drive with the windows down and music up. Like I said, moderation is key. Also, put sunscreen on! Don’t get sunburn. That’ll harsh your finals week vibe for sure.

4. Have caffeine and a sugary treat.

Okay, I know we’re all over those “Treat yo’self!” GIFs and memes, but it does hold some truth. This can also be filed under “change of scenery.” My favorite place for a finals week pick-me-up is Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ has so many flavors from Caramel (my fave!) to Hazelnut to Mocha to even French Vanilla. For a limited time, they also have Butter Pecan or Coconut Creme Pie iced coffees.

I know it’s “America runs on Dunkin’” but it can alternatively be called, “Paige runs on Dunkin’ (especially during finals week).”

How to Thrive During Finals Week - College Finals Guide // ew & pt

5. Watch something to boost your mood.

This can range from an inspiring Ted Talk to a funny Jenna Marbles video on YouTube. You decide.

If you seek something somewhat educational that doesn’t have a plot that’s difficult to follow, Planet Earth on Netflix has a fresh water episode about otters that my boyfriend warned me not to watch it because I would definitely cry told me about. It’s also a great alternative to actually going outside if it’s raining or it’s too distracting.

6. Change your task.

If you feel yourself falling into a bout of unproductivity or blah-ness, try switching up your task. Instead of working on your paper, take a break and look at your flashcards for a different course. Although one task may not be more fun than another, it certainly will help keep things interesting…as interesting as finals can be.

7. Set a timer.

This is key for enjoying your study breaks without letting them lead to procrastination which will then lead to sadness and all-nighters. When you’re taking a break or even trying to quickly finish a task, try setting a timer. Even your phone timer will suffice. This will keep you going and keep you on task!

8. Turn on some music.

I’m guilty of accidentally typing lyrics instead of essays when I end up listening to music while I work, but for many, music is the perfect motivator. I recommend something light and acoustic that will keep you smiling but won’t be too distracting. Here’s a Light & Acoustic playlist I’ve put together if you want to try that for your study sesh!

Warning! Don’t procrastinate by declaring you must create a “finals studying playlist.” Seriously, playlist making is super fun and can lead to hours of procrastination…throwback to the time I made a “Room Cleaning Playlist” and then ended up not cleaning my room because it took so much time. Avoid that. There are plenty of study playlists out there and if they’re not for you, use a timed break to make a playlist!


What helps you thrive during finals week?

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  • Emma Corrie-Hill

    I love this blog post!!!

  • All excellent tips! One thing I used to use when I was a student was something called the “Self-Control App” which you download on your computer and you add a list of websites to it while setting a timer. Once the timer is set the app blocks all of the websites on the list, forcing you to focus instead of getting distracted by websites like Facebook or Twitter and such.
    In any case, good luck with finals! Hope you ace them all!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

    • Thanks, Deborah! That app sounds amazing, I definitely want to try that before next semester…Facebook and Pinterest always distract me!

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