Surviving Finals Week

Bloodshot eyes stare blankly at the open Word document waiting patiently for the paper to magically write itself. The curser blinks once, then twice and then a third time, but nothing appears. A soft sigh leaves parted lips as the chair leans backwards making a soft creaking sound in protest. The frustration begins to build and then panic when you realize that your time to finish this project is slowly slipping away. A numbing feeling takes over your brain and the sudden urge to cry overtakes you. What has caused this tremendous amount of stress and anxiety? Only one thing could cripple even the most academic of students…Finals Week.

Yes, it is that time of year again for many college students around the United States including myself. Technically, it’s not quite finals week, but it sure does feel like it consider my professors have decided to take the last week as a bit of a celebration of the end of the 2012-2013 school year. Final projects, papers and tests are all being held this week and I, along with most other students, are feeling the pressure to get everything completed.

If you’re a parent, you’ve probably found your student tenser than usual, ready to pounce at you for making a small mistake or on the verge of breaking down from all of the stress. You wonder what there is that you can do to help your student, but you draw a blank, much like they probably are as they stare at their open Word document. But fear not! I have some tips that will give you a hand with helping your student with finals week.

For the Parents:


Finals week is the most intense, most stressful week of any students’ academic year. So here are a couple of things that you can do to help your student get through their week (or two weeks like me):


If your student is currently living at home and you have them doing a lot of chores, let them cut back on them. No, you don’t have to tell them not to do any chores, but limit it to one or two instead of three or four. This will give your student a bit of extra time to work on other things and to them right now, time is precious.

Positive Parenting:

During this time, it’s important for you to stay positive. Tell your student that it won’t last much longer and that they will do fine when it comes to their final tests and projects. Keep a smile on your face and be encouraging.

Don’t Call Too Much:

If your student is away at college, I’m sure you call them quite a bit to check in to see how they’re doing. During their finals week, cut back on the amount of time you call. Calling a student is a distraction despite how short the conversation is. Remember, your student’s time is precious and they need it for studying and finishing last minute projects. Not to mention that depending on what you’re calling for, it may increase the amount of stress your student is undergoing. If it’s not important, wait until finals are over.

Advance Travel Plans:

planeMany students go off to school and if this is your case, make sure to make travel arrangements in advance. The last thing your student wants to think about during finals week is how they are going to get home. Okay, maybe that’s not completely true; however, if they are spending their time stressing about how they will be getting home, they aren’t focusing on studying for their test. It is better to make travel plans prior to finals week so it’s one less thing your student has to think or stress over.

For the Students:


Hello fellow students! How are you hanging in there? Okay I hope! If you’re reading this blog I can only assume that you’re doing okay at least for the time being. The stress hasn’t kicked in for you yet, this is good! If you have a minute, I have some tips to help get you through finals week:

Don’t Procrastinate:

“But Felicia, you procrastinate all the time.” Yes, but do as I say not what I do! Don’t wait until last minute to study or work on final projects. I promise you that it will help to take a lot of stress off of your shoulders.

Eat Breakfast:Happy Egg

You know how they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day? It’s actually true. Breakfast will give you the energy that you need to get through your final classes and push through those classes. Having a healthy breakfast will help your mind to keep moving.

Find Time to Relax:

You’re asking yourself what this thing “relax” is at this point. If you are, it’s time for you to get in touch with this concept again. Being constantly stressed out is not good for you! Find time to relax and do something for yourself. It will keep you refreshed and remind you that once finals week is over that you can have more time to do this wonderful thing that is relaxing.

Stay Hydrated:

It’s important to keep yourself hydrated. The last thing you want to happen at this point in time is to end up in the emergency room. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Drinking water will help to keep you awake while you’re trying to get through these papers and projects.

Avoid Energy Drinks:

Kind of an odd thing that I’m suggesting isn’t it? Energy drinks help you keep energized after all, right? Well, unfortunately, energy drinks aren’t that good for you. If you are really looking to get a burst of energy to push through the last paragraph or page of your paper, then go for a walk or eat something healthy. There are a number of fruits and vegetables that can give you energy such as: bananas, organic dark chocolate, carrots, and blueberries. You can use Google (since you’re probably already on it doing research) to look up some other healthy energy-filled fruits and vegetables.

Whether you’re a parent or a student during finals week there is one important thing that you have to keep in mind. It will all be over soon! Finals only last a week, two tops, but you can get through it no matter how hard it may seem at the time. Stay positive and remind yourself summer will soon be here.

Until Next Time!

Let’s Ramble:

Are you a student currently going through finals week? What tips do you have for others to survive this horrific week?

Are you the parent of a student who’s in the process of getting through finals? How have you helped them?

Photo Credits: By KF [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons (featured image)
By MarekV (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons (air plan photo)
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Felicia is currently in pursuit of a Master’s degree in the field of Couples, Marital and Family Therapy. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, singing, watching television and movies, and writing. In addition, she is profoundly interested in the many aspects of family and relationships and for this reason Familial Ramblings was created.

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36 thoughts on “Surviving Finals Week

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  4. Great ideas, as a parent of a graduating high schooler I am interested in the information as college is right around the corner.

  5. As a former teacher who is getting ready to go BACK to school, I’m thankful for this post. If you can do it then I can.

    The teacher side would like to add one piece of advice – don’t be afraid to schedule time with your teacher! If you’ve been a no show all semester don’t think that a single one-on-one will do anything for you, but if you’ve been showing up all semester, doing the work but just need some clarifications, make an appointment! Profs don’t bite.

  6. This is was a great post! I went back to school as a non traditional student to get my Bachelors and I was a nervous wreck all the time. Congratulations on pursuing your Masters! Happy SITS day!

  7. {Melinda} I just survived finals week with two teenagers. It about killed me. And them. I tried to use most of the parental tips you suggested above and they did help. But it’s just still tough. I don’t remember it being this hard when I was in school! Thanks for this post — it’s important one for both kids and their parents.

    Have a wonderful SITS Day! :)
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  9. My one very vivid memory of final week is the day I took my Calculus final, followed by my Physics with Calculus final. Talk about a roaring headache that took a day to go away. I’m surprised I could even walk. Good tips. Thanks for the post. Enjoy your SITS Day.
    Sheila Skillingstead would luv for you to read..Persistence and patienceMy Profile

    • Thank you for sharing your experience, Sheila! I certainly remember some of those types of tests. Thankfully I’m done with math courses, those were always the worst!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Happy SITS Day to Me!My Profile

    • You’ve got an excellent point, Seana! Especially with all the testing high school students and even middle school students have to go through. I’m glad you enjoyed my post and I hope you enjoy my blog. Thank you for commenting!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Happy SITS Day to Me!My Profile

  10. My finals week was last week, had four finals Monday through Thursday with one on each day. I don’t know how I did on any of them, but I had all A’s in my classes so I couldn’t have done too badly on the individual exams.

    Telling a college student not to procrastinate and to eat breakfast (your first two tips) is a bit pointless, ya know? A great majority, at least that I know, procrastinate and don’t even wake up early enough for breakfast. haha.

    • I’m still in the process of getting through finals, blah. Just one more and I’m done! It’s good to hear that you did so well on your classes, I’m sure your exam grades will be just fine.

      Haha, I don’t think it’s pointless. There are many students out there that procrastinate and eat breakfast, but sometimes a friendly reminder can be the kick in the butt they need to actually do it. It’s actually really amazing how much eating breakfast can help you get through the day. I never realized it until recently and even if college students don’t listen to my advice, at least I gave it to them in hopes of helping them out. :) Thanks for commenting!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..From in Your Face to Invisable: Taking a Look at InvisalignMy Profile

  11. I JUST came back from my last final for this semester wooooooooohooooooooooooo! 2 days with no sleep and I am 2 seconds from going into a coma, but had to come to this post (saw it earlier this week) and comment, now that i have time :)
    I wanted to add a tip:

    TO PARENTS: Ask if there is anything you can help with, sometimes it helps to have someone else read your essay, even for simple mistakes. Also, you can volunteer to help write flash cards (cause sometimes there are a million of them) and review your student when he/she is ready. – Same goes for friends, siblings and friends.

    TO SIGNIFICANT OTHERS: Back off! lol Finals are stressful enough and i am sure you can handle a week or 2 with less attention. If you are not offering help, then give space. Stressing over your relationship on top off finals is just too much, so please make things easier, not harder.

    Ok i am done with my 2 cents :)
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    • Hi Julie, thank you for commenting! I’m glad to hear that you survived finals week! Doesn’t it feel great? You’ve also added some really great tips here, thanks for sharing! I love the tip you have for significant others! Thankfully my husband knows all about finals week since he’s currently suffering through them too, haha.
      Felicia would luv for you to read..From in Your Face to Invisable: Taking a Look at InvisalignMy Profile

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  13. These are great tips. My son is only in pre-k right now, so thankfully I don’t have to worry about it yet. I do remember finals weeks and being one of the crammers. Cramming a whole semester in one week was always very bad. lol.

    • Thanks for the compliment, Shauna, and thank you for commenting! Haha, you’re lucky for the time being, but just you wait until those tests start rolling in! I’m a horrible, horrible procrastinator so I’m always cramming like that. It’s so bad, but I for some reason cannot break out of the habit for the life of me! Ugh, maybe one day before I’m finished with school I’ll be able to get things done in advance and study before finals week, haha.
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Surviving Finals WeekMy Profile

  14. coffee. coffee. coffee.

    but in all seriousness, schedule well, get sleep, take time to relax and breathe. sometimes half an hour of quiet time can make a huge difference.

    also coffee.

    • Haha, I knew I was forgetting a tip! It’s funny because after I finished writing this post, I actually headed down to Starbucks and picked up a White Chocolate Mocha (and not a small one either…). Coffee is a most though along with scheduling and sleeping well! Thank you for sharing your tips!
      Felicia would luv for you to read..Surviving Finals WeekMy Profile