Callie’s Declassified School Survival Guide

A Guide to Surviving Finals


One of the hardest parts of finals (in my opinion) was keeping everything in perspective. With tests looming later in the week, finding little ways to keep myself from getting overwhelmed was necessary. When I wasn’t studying, I did things like:


On a particularly nice day, my friends and I decided to stroll to Schnucks, the grocery store, to buy gingerbread cookie mix and frosting. We baked an absurd amount of cookies, and then decorated them in the common room. Despite getting sprinkles everywhere, and realizing that baking shows make cookie-decorating look much easier than it really is, it was a perfect way to stop stressing out for a few hours.

Ugly but yummy 🙂


Having a gym two minutes away from me is a blessing and a curse. When I feel motivated, it’s a short walk to the treadmills. When I don’t feel motivated, it makes me feel guilty that the gym is so close, and I’m choosing to nap instead (which happens more often than I would like to admit). During finals week, I was particularly thankful for the gym, though. Exercising is a way to relieve stress, while still keeping yourself focused. Bonus: the smoothie I treated myself to afterwards.

I highly recommend the spinach smoothie from Meshuggah Cafe


One of my goals for 2019 (let’s see how long I can keep that up) is to read more. I love reading, but I am particularly bad at making time for it. This past semester, reading was one of the ways that I calmed down and refocused during periods of intense work. I’m trying to spend less time on my phone (and on Netflix), so reading is a perfect way to destress. If anyone has good book recommendations, please let me know, because I can only reread the few books in my room so many times.


I am not a very artistic person, but I love drawing anyways. Although sometimes I end up getting more frustrated by my inability to create art than by the initial stress-inducing studying, I have realized that by pouring my built-up tension onto a page, I end up feeling more relaxed and more productive… even if the final product is equivalent to that of a 10 year old’s.

Spending time with friends

My friends have been my rocks this semester (as cheesy as it sounds). Whether it’s blasting music and singing in a room or heading to the loop to wander around and eat, spending an hour (or seven) with people who love and support me is the best way to eliminate the stress of finals week. It’s an instant cure: just add water!