Photo by @mistermcfisher on Instagram

I am definitely more than willing to admit that I’ve been completely checked out of school for weeks (if not months) now, but can you blame me? The thought of sitting at the beach or tubing at the lake has kept my mind far from the notebooks sprawled in front of me. But since finals are inevitable and coming way more quickly than I’m ready for, I figured I would find some of the best ways to prepare my body and mind for the long week ahead.

1. Refresh your body 

Step one in preparing myself is taking care of my body. I have always been a fan of taking runs to clear my mind, but when the weather doesn’t cooperate the next best thing is the workout classes at the UW-Eau Claire campus. My personal favorites are the cycling class and Butts & Guts because I am guaranteed to leave sore. Another great option are the workout classes on the third floor of the library, which is convenient for anyone who lives in the library finals week.  

2. Find your sacred study spot

Now onto the worst part: studying. After three years of college finals I’ve realized that finding a study spot and making it your own is crucial. It should be a place that you can slide your shoes off, kick your legs up and blast your headphones while you cram the readings you should’ve completed months ago in your brain (sorry, professors). I’m a huge fan of coffee shops because I definitely focus best when there’s some background noise to keep me focused. ECDC is for sure the best place to get your brain fired up because 1. They have great coffee and 2. They have the best atmosphere that makes honestly me feel like I’m in a Pinterest board.

3. Take breaks, it’s good for the soul

One of the most important parts of a successful cram session is taking breaks. I highly recommend stopping to take some Netflix breaks every couple hours to catch up on a quick episode while you turn off your brain from your highlighted flashcards. You could also stretch your legs and head down to pet the therapy dogs in the library for a little while, or maybe a long time. No judgment!  

4. Bring snacks, lots and lots of snacks

I also always pack a snack, because I somehow always end up hungry, or just eating out of boredom. Some of my go-to snacks are carrots, celery, fruit, Chex Mix and of course cookies, because you always need to treat yo’self. This is also a good way to incentivize yourself for every chunk of time or amount of material you cover when studying. I always love to bring M&M’s (I know, so fourth grade) and reward myself after every chapter… or page... or line… whatever.

I know these are some pretty basic tips, but I’ve learned throughout the years what works for me and what doesn’t. My best tip though is to find your favorite way to focus and roll with it, because once you ace those tests you’re on your way to swimming in the lake this summer!