The Key to Surviving Finals Week: Dead Day

Campus "Reading" Day is the day after classes end and the day before finals begin.  Most people call that day "Dead Day."  If you can only be productive on one day a semester, be productive on Dead Day.  I don't know about you, but by Dead Day, I am feeling pretty close to death. Everyone I know is getting sick or stressed out, work is still work ('cause bills are still bills), and I am more than ready to take a break.
I think this is what universities mean by "Campus Reading Day," right?

I think this is what universities mean by "Campus Reading Day," right?

 
Get your stuff done on dead day!

What to do before Dead Day:

  • Clean your room. Over the next few days it may get messy if you are in-and-out, studying, and not giving it the time you normally would. Staying clean can help you to focus better.
  • Create a schedule. How much time will you dedicate to each class and when will you do it. Be sure to add any other activities you will be doing.  Be realistic so that you don't overwhelm yourself.
  • Schedule appointments with professors and TAs. If you need help with a final projects, clarification on the final, etc. make an appointment and get all of your questions answered. 

 

What to do during Dead Day:

Study! Study! Study!
  • Get some rest.  You have worked hard all semester. You were up late the night before or plan to be up late this day. Sleep in a extra hour or two (and this is coming from the girl who wakes up at 5am).  If you cannot sleep in, take a 20 minute nap during a study break instead of buying a coffee (sleep is free). 
  • Study. Spend about an hour on subjects that are towards the end of finals week or you grasp.  Spend 90 minutes to give your brain a refresh or on the subjects that are towards the middle of finals week.  Lastly, spend 2 hours on the subjects you have a difficult time with.
  • Have lunch with friends.  This may be the last time to see everyone before going home for winter break.  You'll be killing 3 birds with one stone: a study break, lunch, and seeing your friends.  Just don't make lunch an all day thing! Spend more like an hour to hour and a half.
  • Get your to-do list done. Send that email you've been procrastinating for two weeks.  

 

What to do after Dead Day:

  • Study. Keep preparing for those tests. Make sure you are grasping concepts you struggled with earlier in the semester.  Have a brain dump with friends in the class.  This is where you take a concept and everyone throws out everything they know on it (take notes on the things you don't know).
  • Prepare for next semester.  Go see your advisor if necessary. Finalize your schedule for next semester. Make a list of the things you will need when you return from break.
  • Finish Strong! You've made it this far, what's one more week?  Be confident that you prepared well and do not second-guess yourself during exams.  

 

Your Turn

Upperclassmen: Do you and your friends have any Dead Day rituals? Share in the comments.

Freshmen: What has you stressing about finals this week?

Everyone: What are you most excited for during Winter Break?

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Don't let finals week stop you from getting stuff done!