Five Tips for Surviving Dead Week

As any college student knows, dead week is possibly the worst and most stressful time of your life. Suddenly all of those projects that you’ve been putting off all quarter are due and you’re regretting the fact that you ever even signed up for a Netflix account. On top of all the ridiculous work that you have to do, you also have to study for your finals that are next week. What the hell?!

As someone who has had many successful and unsuccessful dead weeks, I feel as though I finally have some helpful wisdom that I can share that may hopefully make your dead week a little less terrible, or at least a little easier to manage.

1. The weekend before dead week, make yourself a schedule. 

Sit down with all of your syllabuses and figure out exactly what is due in the coming days, because it’s probably a lot. The last thing you want is to forget you had one final quiz in a class because you were too busy focusing on a giant essay that’s due. By knowing exactly what you have to get done, you’ll be able to budget your time and stay on top of all of your tasks.

2. Find a study partner.

This may be a personal preference,  but I find that if I have a friend that is studying with me, I’m way less tempted to start slacking and take dumb Buzzfeed quizzes for an hour when I should be doing work. The two of you don’t even have to be doing the same work, just having someone else with you and focusing can really help hold you accountable. Just make sure it’s someone who is just as dedicated to studying as you are. The last thing you want is to invite someone to study and they end up distracting you the whole time.

3. Try studying somewhere new.

I find that when I study in the same spaces all the time, I get way too comfortable and proceed to goof around instead of working. By going to a new environment, it really makes me think “oh, this is serious studying time now”. This can be something as little as picking a new floor of the library to go to, but it really can make a huge difference. Plus, this gives you a fun excuse to go try a new coffee shop or explore a cool new library!

4. Look for resources on campus.

A lot of schools will host fun study sessions during dead week that offer resources like extended tutoring hours or essay writing assistance. Taking advantage of these can seriously help boost your grade on a final project, or help you understand a concept that you’re not very strong on. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

5. Make time for fun.

I know everyone says that taking breaks is important, but this really can’t be stressed enough. When I schedule out one afternoon of fun, I definitely put a lot more effort into the work I am doing earlier that day. It is so much more effective to have a few hours of concentrated work than a full day of halfhearted work while you’re staring at your phone the whole time. By taking a few breaks, you’ll make the most of the time that you do spend studying.

While everyone’s experience with dead week is different, I really hope these tips help. Just know that everyone around you is equally as stressed and sleep deprived. And hey, spring break is just around the corner!