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The 9 Stages Of Studying For Your Final Exams

Welcome to the final stretch, where everything is do or die.

By Grace Woodrow

It’s that time of the semester again when the tension rises, the parties all but vanish and the actual learning begins, due to a little thing we call “final exams.” (Dun, dun, dun!) While this torturous week is coming up, all of us in college must keep our cool and get those finals done. Here's the whirlwind of emotions and coping mechanisms you can expect to face in the meantime:

  1. Procrastination

    What you tell yourself: “I’m about to head to the library, but I have to make my bed first. I can’t possibly do my work knowing that my room is a mess. Damn, I forgot to do laundry, too? I actually wanted to wear that shirt today, so let me just throw in a quick load. In the meantime I better take a shower. Who’s hungry? I’m going to make a sandwich. You know what I could really go for? A nap. Bye.”

    How to proceed: The easiest way to tackle this is by doing a little bit each day. Don’t push it off 'til the last minute, but also don’t take on more than you can handle at once -- you’ll wind up overwhelmed and will look to anything that can distract you.

  2. Overemphasizing the importance of your exams

    What you tell yourself: “OMG this final matters SOOO much in the grand scheme of my life! If I don’t pass this final, I am LITERALLY going to die.”

    In this stage you will do a lot of complaining. Don’t be modest in constantly letting everyone know how long you have to be in the library over the next week.

    How to proceed: Just relax. No final exam ever stopped anyone from going on to do great things. It’s just another day. Don’t let these things define or destroy you.

  3. Creating a study group

    What you tell yourself: “With my squad by my side, there’s nothing I can’t get done!"

    Fact check: false. You’re just hanging out with friends in an academic environment. You guys haven’t accomplished anything except for clearing out your section of the library.

    How to proceed: You’re all in this together, so keep your friends by your side for support, but only if you can keep your mouth shut too. (Unless it’s whispers of encouragement.)

  4. Rewarding yourself with incentives

    What you tell yourself: “OK, OK. For every page I write, I watch one hour of Netflix. For every two pages, I will stuff my face. If I’m going to be studying, I am going to also need prizes."

    How to proceed: Minimize this, fools.

  5. Denial

    What you tell yourself: “Maybe if I just close my eyes, this will all disappear. Right?" Wrong.

    How to proceed: Try not to spend too much time in the "wishing away your responsibilities" stage.

  6. Contemplation of dropping out

    What you tell yourself: "Maybe I can just skip the whole graduating thing? Maybe?"

    How to proceed: Don’t.

  7. The inevitable breakdown

    What you tell yourself: "GAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH." (This stage includes tears of sadness, regret and probably a pizza to the face.)

    How to proceed: Let it out. Everyone deserves one good cry before game time.

  8. Pull an all-nighter (or two or seven)

    What you tell yourself: "Wow, I am killing it! This isn’t so bad. I got this. I’m actually pretty smart. To think I was just considering dropping out. Lolz, I may just run for president.” (It's 4 a.m. and you're delusional.)

    How to proceed: Jk, almost there! Keep it up.

  9. Ace your exam

    What you tell yourself: "What was I so worried about? That wasn’t so bad after all!"

    How to proceed: Enjoy this feeling ... because soon you'll be done with college, and compared to all your new adult responsibilities, finals will seem like the easiest thing in the world.