Surviving the Final Week
I always find the final week of term difficult. Regardless of whether we’re coming up to Christmas or Easter, the final weeks (and Week 10 in particular) always feel like a slog.
While you’re probably excited to be nearing the end of the immediate stress, it is also quite likely that this is the time when you’re most overwhelmed by deadlines. There’s a break ahead but sometimes even that appears as a bitter sweet view on the horizon.
The holidays inevitably mean a time of revision and possibly essay/dissertation writing so what’s the best way to approach the final week before it all begins?
It’s probably different for everyone but here’s how I approach it.
Particularly in the final week, it is important to prioritise. I found that at the end of last term, in contrast to previous terms, I allowed myself to get behind on lectures in order to focus on the more pressing deadlines.
I would advise caution here. Anything you let slip this week will push over into the holidays but it can be useful to manage your time slightly differently knowing you have that big block of time without lectures coming up. In the final week you don’t have to be so terrified of getting behind only to be overloaded with new lectures the following week so it an be beneficial to make the most of that.
Getting a good start
I may be a bit late in posting this (it being Monday evening already) but I think it can really help if you fly into the final week full of motivation and putting in lots of effort.
By the final day’s of the week (perhaps less so this year depending on circumstances) I find that my mind is always preoccupied with thinking about packing up my things to move back home. If studying from home, it might be that your just preoccupied by the idea of a break and that’s fair enough too.
It seems somehow easier to be less productive in Week 10 so I think it’s important to get off to a good start when it still feels much the same as any other week at university.
Making the most of it still being term time
In first year, I remember lots of things coming up in the final week of term. Societies seemed to host more events and everyone seemed to want to do something to mark it being the final week of term. So depending on your circumstances, this is something to keep in mind.
Maybe you can push a lecture until next week and catch up on it then if it means taking advantage of an opportunity that won’t be available once the holidays have started. I think, again, this falls into that dangerous territory of playing with your time management now that you have a holiday period to plan for but it can definitely be worth it.
In the past, we would always make a big fuss in our flat/house to try and do something as a group before we all parted ways and moved back home for a while. It’s a nice way to leave and those memories have always made me excited to come back at the start of the next term.
Still make time for yourself
This is an important one and probably quite a tricky one if you’re anything like me.
As I have already mentioned, there are likely to be more deadlines and more people around wanting to do things just before the end of term comes. Your time will slip away more easily than normal and I find that whenever big deadlines come up I forget to go out and exercise or feel I can’t justify the time spent away form my desk.
But the benefits always outweigh the cost!
I find that if I just get out for a quick run or walk, I can return to my desk with a fresh mind ready to work again and ready to work productively. Maybe for you it’s not exercise. Maybe it’s reading or playing an instrument instead but, whatever you do to relax, make sure to keep it in mind and make some time for yourself in the hectic mess that is Week 10.
Week 10 can be your best week of the term. There might be a lot going on but that just means more opportunities to enjoy yourself. Yes, you have to reach those last deadlines but hopefully you’ll still find some time to enjoy being at university (or just in the headspace of university term time) and you can prepare yourself for a well earned break.