Olivia’s Declassified Finals Survival Guide

Two weeks from now, I will be soaking up the sun on a beach in Brazil. Right now, I’m in full-on finals mode.


As much as I hate finals week, I’ve gone through enough of them to know what works best for me. These are just a few of the things I’ve discovered over the past few years. Hopefully most of you (who are students) haven’t started your finals yet, so my procrastination did not go to waste!

1. Self Control App


If you’re as addicted to social media as I am, this thing is an actual life saver. You create a blacklist of websites and set a time limit, and it will block them for the time limit you set. It’s the only way I got through my finals last semester. Get it here.

2. Sleep

You need sleep. And food. This seems like a given, but I’ve seen too many college students sleeping in the hallway/bathroom to not put it on the list. Getting at least a few hours of sleep will do way more good than pulling an all-nighter ever will. Or else you’ll end up like this:


3. Highlighters


I always tell myself that I’ll read through my notes/the book twice: once for the general idea, and once for the details. This literally NEVER happens.  Highlighters are your friends, especially when you need to remember both the general idea and the specifics. Highlight what you think is important, what you don’t quite understand, what you need to Google. Color code that ish. When you’re done, it’ll make your notes much easier to digest, and help YOU figure out what’s important. Trust me, half of doing well on the final is knowing what will be on it.

4. Make a schedule/to-do list


The first step of getting your work done is actually knowing WHAT needs to be done. I do this partially as a productive form of procrastination and as a way to gauge how I should pace myself. Plus, the instant gratification that comes from crossing something off of a to-do list is enough to get me to work.

5. Find a study buddy


Explaining concepts to other people helps them understand while also forcing you to apply what you know. Plus, you can ask them to help you with all the things you don’t understand. Setting a time to study with another person also forces you to start studying (or at least thinking about studying) before then, since you’ll want to know what they’re talking about and not look stupid. But limit your study groups to two or three people — you need to stay focused!

6. Relax


Don’t put too much pressure on yourself! You need to study, but finals are not the end of the world. You will survive. If you find yourself getting too stressed, give yourself a five minute break and take a few deep breaths, then continue with your mind cleared. As long as you do your best when studying, you will do fine.

Good luck! Do you have any studying tips?

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6 thoughts on “Olivia’s Declassified Finals Survival Guide”

  1. Totally agree with all of this, especially #2! I’m always tempted to stay up late and get up early to start studying again. But I’m never fully productive when I’m sleep deprived. Just plain cranky.

    Another thing I try to do is maintain my workouts. Sometimes going to the gym or on a run for an hour helps me regain my sanity. Then I’m ready to refocus on schoolwork afterward!

    Good luck studying! 🙂

    1. YES I completely agree with the exercise routine thing! I always feel better and more focused after I work out (Although I’ve been really slacking in that department lately… I need to take your advice.)

      Thanks, same to you (if you’re in school, that is)!

  2. This is hilarious for so many reasons. You could probably throw in eating substantial food, not a strict diet of sugar for finals week (guilty) I seriously love your blog!

    1. My lunch yesterday was PopTarts and the day before was a complete carbfest (Panera mac and cheese, can you blame me?), so I need to work on that too haha. And yay, thank you!!

    1. The gifs ended up being a little counterproductive, since they just made me want to sit and watch throwback nickelodeon shows on youtube, haha. Good luck with finals!

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