Survival 101: How to conquer finals week

As the end of the school semester nears, students at Minnesota State University, Mankato start to hunker down and prepare for the last week of school, known as the dreaded Finals Week. Here are some tips on how to survive this scary – and stressful – time.

1. Seek shelter

Finding a refuge from all the chaos is key to get all the studying that needs to be completed. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a military-grade bunker, but your shelter should be able to endure maximum cramming sessions. Comfort and minimal distractions are key when searching. This can be as simple as your dorm or apartment room, or you can be adventurous and head to the local library.

2. Stock up on supplies

Finals week is not the time to be running low on key supplies, mainly food. Head to the nearest grocery store or supermarket and pick up the necessary provisions, including snacks, and study materials, such as pens, highlighters, note cards, and tabs to mark important pages in your textbooks.

3. Stay alert

Those long hours and late nights are bound to catch up to you. Drink lots of caffeinated beverages to help combat this. If you don’t like coffee, hot chocolate or tea are alternatives. If all else fails, a 5-Hour Energy or a can of pop can be equally effective. The main thing is to stay awake and focused. You also don’t want those zombies—er—sleep-deprived students to get you.

4. Arm yourself

With knowledge, of course (although those heavy textbooks could probably do some actual damage). The best way to beat those finals is to know the material you are going to be tested on. Make sure to fill out the study guides your professors give out so you can study the appropriate material. Arm yourself with plenty of sleep and fluids as well, so you are well rested when the day comes to put your knowledge to the test. Literally.

5. Find your team

There is safety in numbers. The people who study together, win together. You don’t have to be an expert at everything, but if you can find a group of people from your classes to study with, you can balance each other’s strengths and weaknesses by sharing what you know. Even if you aren’t in the same classes, sometimes it’s just encouraging to be around others who are in a similar boat and are also just trying to survive the apocalypse, er, finals week.

Alissa Thielges

Alissa is a sophomore majoring in mass media at MSU. When she doesn't have her nose stuck in a book, she enjoys eating pie and fangirling over various fictional characters. You can get in touch with her at her email

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