Coming back from Thanksgiving, we have such a small amount of time to prepare for finals before they actually begin. Every year without fail, I have convinced myself to get ahead of upcoming work during the break, but simply do not. Usually, I am too exhausted to achieve that goal once late November rolls around.
That means the week after break is pretty stressful — when I realize I probably should’ve done something over break and panic. I usually start with a list. The long list of assignments that need to be done sits on my desktop as a reminder every time I open my laptop. And you should see my internet tabs. As I type this, I probably have 10 open just in this one window and then some other windows minimized down below. Each tab open is a document that reminds me of those same assignments. You can mock it, but it definitely works for me.
Being in marketing and communications, a lot of my finals consist of group or individual projects. Instead of tests during finals week, we have presentations mostly. It may seem better than a test, but this means all my work has to be finished before finals begin. Then, I have to ignore my social anxiety to share my work in front of my class. With many projects, I find it easiest to skip around. I’ll do one project for a bit before switching to a different one. In the past, I have found working on the same project for hours on end makes it much more frustrating. This way, I can also make sure every one of them is making its way toward completion. Otherwise, I have one done and the others not started.
Taking care of mental health is also so important during this time. Actually considering how to keep myself sane during these few weeks is important. Recently, I have found serenity in lighting my holiday-scented candle, sitting by some Christmas lights and sipping hot chocolate while doing work. When even this still makes me feel like I want to throw my computer out the window, I watch Netflix or leave to work out. It is always important for me to feel accomplished enough to spend time with friends on the weekends. If almost crying during the week means I can spend a few hours on some late-night weekend adventure, I’ll take it.