Dead Week: just hearing the words is enough to evoke shudders from students at universities all over America. It seems like modern mythology that Dead Week could have ever been what it is truly intended to be—a slow week before finals used by students to catch up and work ahead on assignments. Unfortunately, for many students, the only thing that’s dead is their motivation, their social life, and their desire to continue with college at all.
But fellow ETSU students, take heart! Just like every other semester up until now, you’ll come screeching to the finish line next week, barely clinging to your sanity (if this is your first semester, just hang on—you’ll make it). After a week of hibernation, all will be well. Until then, there are a few things that could help you make it to the end while retaining a little bit of dignity and decorum.
First off, you may be a procrastinator, but at least plan your procrastination. For some students, there is nothing like a little pressure to make you crank out an A+ paper. Your professor may tell you that it is impossible, but experience says otherwise.
Make a detailed list of everything that needs to be completed by the end of finals week, and then make a day-by-day list of when things are due. This will enable you to focus on one assignment at a time rather than becoming overwhelmed with everything that is due in one week.
Though it is difficult, try to stay focused in your classes instead of stressing over what you have to do after you get out of class. You have been able to push things to the back burner all semester, partially contributing to your woes now, so just use your time in class to think about something other than your to-do list.
Know that almost every single student you come into contact with is in the same boat. Misery loves company, and you will be able to find plenty this week. Everyone is stressed to the max, so be as gracious and courteous as possible. Don’t hesitate to take some time for yourself in order to avoid conflict with friends or family who may be unaware of how much stress you are under.
Take a study break to clean. Physical clutter exacerbates mental clutter. Taking a break from your studying to tidy up will make things much better. Even if your life is really in shambles, your dorm or apartment doesn’t have to be.
Finally, don’t resent college because of these last few horrible weeks. While it may be horrible, the Dead Weeks you endure as an undergrad will be some of the most bitter/sweet memories you will ever have. Don’t allow yourself to be so stressed out that you can’t have fun. Stress is the perfect breeding ground for spontaneity, and spontaneity (when practiced safely) makes for great memories.
When you reach your final semester of school, your last dead week will likely evoke a lot of emotion. Soak it all in while you can, because time is precious.
Also, keep your lists. When it’s all over next Thursday, look back at them and be proud that you’re one semester, a lot of stress, and many assignments closer to achieving your goals.