5 Simple Ways to Help Your Campus Not Go Insane During Finals

The above quote is what my little sister said to me, to the best of my memory, when I asked her when she would have time to play a Nancy Drew computer game with me that we started on Thanksgiving. Being a big sister who already graduated is hard during finals time….but not as hard as it is to be a student.

This time of year should be filled with holiday cheer, warm scarves, and marshmallows. In a twisted conspiracy plot by colleges everywhere, however, finals happen before you can even say “ho ho ho” or pick your favorite spelling of Hanukkah.

As a student leader, you’re just as stressed as everyone else, but you have a responsibility to help make this time easier for those you lead. Making finals more bearable doesn’t have to add stress to your already full plate!

5 Simple Ways to Help Your Campus Not Go Insane During Finals

 1. Set up a holiday crafts table. Get your friends together, or your organization, and take shifts manning a table in the student center or library lobby with the tools necessary to make paper snowflakes, write cards, decorate ornaments, or whatever else you can think of! Other students will appreciate the small break as they stop by your station.

2. Give out hot chocolate at the library. Back at Fordham, during finals, Campus Ministry set up in the lobby of the library with free hot chocolate for the zombied students walking in and out of the building. I remember it making my day when I saw them!

3. Surprise campus with an impromptu talent show. Maybe you are in the a cappella group or the dance crew at your school. Or maybe you and your friends just have some talents to share. Stand up in the cafeteria, or in the quad, and sing a few songs, play a guitar, or dance. It will certainly get tired students out of their daze, from meh to hmmmmm.

4. Assign motivation buddies. Within your organization or friend group, get everyone to partner up and swap phone numbers. Since this time of year comes with an overwhelming to-do list, have each student text their buddy as they accomplish little milestones. You might text each time you write a page of your paper, or study each chapter. Studies show that when you celebrate getting something off your list verbally, it makes you more productive.

5. Organize Pomodoro study huddles. Pomodoro Technique is a way to work to boost your productivity. The basic idea is to work or study in 25 minute increments, with no distractions. Once the timer rings, you can take a 5 minute break. After 4 work sessions, take a longer break. A group can easily sit and work with no distractions for 25 minutes, and when the bell rings, take 5 minutes to share their progress with each other. Rinse and repeat. Designating a few minutes at a time with no Facebook, texting, etc. is a lot easier than a whole afternoon in one shot.

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