If you’re like most college students, procrastination is your best friend, except when all of your work comes back for revenge during finals week after you’ve been ignoring it for the whole semester. During that week, your normal sleeping routine just isn’t going to cut it. You need to start from scratch and set up your Finals Eve routine. Here’s how some students go about creating their own.
Fill the gap with a quick nap
“When studying the night before an exam, I like to bring a pillow and a hoodie to the library. Then I study for two hours, take a short nap, study for two hours, then take another short nap and repeat the process.” – Abi Johnson, Valdosta State University, sophomore
Studying in short bursts can be an effective way to keep yourself awake when catching up on an entire semester of material. Each power nap is nearly equivalent to drinking a cup of coffee, but you won’t spill anything while you’re asleep. Unless you drool a lot, then you’re just out of luck.
Use sleeping pills as a last resort
“If I really need the sleep, I have sleeping pills, but I try not to use them very often.” – Cassi Hayes, Notre Dame University, freshman
Using sleeping pills can create a risky situation the night before a big test. If you take them too late in the night, the effects of the medicine can carry over into the next morning, but if you’re having a lot of trouble sleeping, it might be worth the risk.
Make a body pillow your bae
“I sleep with a body pillow every night. The body pillow is life.” – Jane Horvat, Notre Dame University, freshman
When you’re trying to fall asleep, do you ever feel like Ricky Bobby and not know what to do with your hands? Using a body pillow gives you something to hold onto for the entire night without having to worry about suffocating it. Try one out. It might change your life; it’s that comfortable.
Make your room into a monastery
“Listening to some Gregorian chants before I go to bed is super relaxing. It sounds weird, but it really works.” – Katharine Janes, Notre Dame University, freshman
Do you think Gregorian chants are just used for haunted houses and making movie scenes much creepier? Think again. The slow chanting will relax and calm your mind, lulling you into dreamland.
Throw it back to middle school choir
“I’ve been known to listen to the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist’s album on Spotify. Check it out; it does wonders.” – Stephanie Reuter, Notre Dame University, freshman
Choir and hymnal music can serve as a soothing white noise if the Gregorian chants become too ominous. It’s tough to understand the words a lot of the time, so you don’t have to worry about lyrics distracting you from sleep.
Revise with fresh eyes
“For papers, I often stay up late until I have a completed paper and then get up early to revise and edit. I can evaluate my own thoughts and writing more objectively.” – Shaun Evans, Notre Dame University, freshman
If you’re working on a paper for a final project, staying up late is not going to do you any good. If you go back to edit and evaluate after a good night’s sleep, you’ll be surprised by how many mistakes and typos you can find. A night of solid rest turns you into a new person. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde without all of the horrible crimes.
Terrorize your future self
“Sometimes if I need to get up extra early, I drink a lot of water right before bed so that in the morning, I’ll have to pee really bad which will make me actually get out of bed.” – Sarah Assad, James Madison University, sophomore
Nobody likes getting out of bed in the morning, but creating extremely annoying situations like leaving your alarm clock across the room or over-hydrating can force you to act. You’re going to be angry at your past self in the morning, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Don’t forget to pregame (with breakfast foods of course)
“I go to bed before 11:30 p.m. and wake up around 7:00 a.m. to study and eat a big breakfast. Breakfast is key.” – Jack Puetz, Notre Dame University, freshman
It’s always true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it becomes even more important before a big exam. Eating a big breakfast wakes your body up and energizes you for the rest of the day. Make sure you don’t eat too much though—you don’t want to be running out of the exam room trying to hold in everything.