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    a finalsSZN survival guide

    If you like me are in graduate school or are still in undergrad, then this post is for you. Let me just say though, for the record, that finals in grad school are way worse than anything undergrad ever threw at me. Yes, I know that makes sense because it’s grad school – it should be harder. Makes sense, but annoying nonetheless.

    1. Make a Plan 

    I know, you’re thinking, “Make a plan can’t be her great advice can it?” Guess what. It is. Here’s the thing. Finals week is like when you first get to school. You have work to do but it all feels like its looming far off until its the night before an exam/paper is due and you have no clue what the hell you need to study, where to get research for your paper, or how you’re going to save your GPA. Hence the make a plan. When are your assignments due? How many pages? What citation style do you need to use? Who can you collaborate on a study guide with? Do you need to go to office hours to talk ask some last minute questions and get your face in front of your professor one more time? 

    Exactly. Know not only when your finals are due, but what it’s going to take to knock them out of the park. 

    2. Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

    If you’re like me, you like to use finals week to start binge watching a new show because procrastination. Hell, I shouldn’t even be writing this blog post right now. But, procrastination. This is why a schedule is extremely important. I’m all for Netflix or binge watching Insecure, but you can’t lose a whole day doing so. One of my favorite finals week tips/tricks is to schedule every hour of my day. Literally, every hour. I schedule when I’ll wake up, shower, get dressed, go to the gym, head to the library, eat, binge watch my favorite show, and even take Twitter breaks. Now, might seem futile or a little (lot) OCD, but it helps! Even if you don’t stick to the schedule event by event, you what? HAVE A PLAN for your time that serves as a starting place for managing it effectively. 

    3. Take care of yourself

    I know, you have a meeting, work, 2 papers due on the same day with an exam the next day after, and still want to manage to come up for air so there’s no time for sleep, food, and making sure you don’t get sick. WRONG. The worst thing you could do to yourself would be to fall ill during the busiest time of your semester. An all-nighter won’t be necessary if you work your plan and stick to your schedule. You won’t forget to eat if you schedule it + call bae and have them order you some food. You can still see your friends if you meet for dinner or schedule a study break all at the same time. Finals SZN doesn’t have to have you feeling a mess sis.

    4. Look your best to perform your best

    I could never get with the whole disheveled sweats look during finals (when I was outside of my room I mean). Research shows that we often perform our best when we look our best. That means that finals SZN is not the time to let yourself go. Do your hair. Put on some makeup. Wear that outfit that makes you feel smart, pretty, sexy, confident or any other positive emotion. Then go kick those exams and papers asses. 

    5. Keep everything in perspective 

    No one has asked me about my undergraduate GPA since graduating – except of course my Master’s program in my application. That’s because in the “real world” people care that you know what you’re talking about and have the skills necessary to play whatever role you’re in. Do your best, but know that you are, always have been, and always will be, more than your GPA. 

    Good luck!

    Gabrielle Hickmon
    Gabrielle Hickmon

    Find me on: Web | Twitter


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