How To Prepare For The Final Week Before Christmas At University?

The final week before Christmas at university is a strange time for all of us. It’s an exciting time because we get to get home, be with our families or do whatever you have planned for the month off. Yet it’s a strange time as well because as far as the university is concerned, it’s just another week.

The only difference is there tends to be a lot of deadlines (and even exams!) during the last week, and sometimes there are my most unfavourited thing ever- group presentations! I hate them with a passion but that’s not the purpose of this blog post.

Therefore, today’s blog post is going to tell you how to prepare for the final week of university so you enjoy it, not get stressed and leave university happy, not grumpy.

Why Is The Last Week Filled With Deadlines?

I think it’s good to be aware of why the deadlines are (admittedly) at a horrible time in the term because I remember seeing students always getting stressed and turn grumpy in the final week all because of these deadlines. Leading some students to ask why the lecturers were so horrible to set the deadlines for when they had.

Therefore, in case you’re wondering the same thing, the reason is simple. It’s all because during the term lecturers have to do lectures, planning and any other responsibilities that they have to do. As well as trying to grade hundreds of papers or whatever other type of assessment they had to mark on top of that is next to impossible.

Also the grades have to be moderated and everything else that goes into marking and quality assurance.

Meaning this is far, far, far easier to do over a long break like the Christmas break and the Easter break so that’s why they tend to set the deadlines for then.

All in all, it isn’t the lecturers trying to be mean when they set the deadlines, it’s them trying to do their jobs to the best they can.

Read here for further tips on coursework management.

How To Prepare For The Final Week Of University?

Now that I’ve laid down the context, we can start to think about how can we prepare ourselves for this final week.

Plan Ahead

This definitely has been my saving grace during university and it’s been a common theme during the blog posts. As when you know you’ll have several deadlines coming up, then I highly recommend you plan out your time so you can use it effectively and don’t get overwhelmed.

For example, let’s say you have two exams and an essay due in the final week, which is six weeks away.

The first thing I would think about is, can I get the essay done now? That way it’s finished and I can forget about it.

In my experience, most of the time you will be able to complete the essay a few weeks before the deadline if you’ve already been taught the topic and you chip away at it.

Even if you only chip away at it for a week or two, you’ll be surprised how much you can get done over that time. This is a great trick for students that are too busy with other things, like readings, lectures and more.

In terms of the exams, what I use to do was starting from around 4 weeks away I would do a little revision each day so it didn’t take up too much of my time, but it added up over time. For example, if an exam covered 14 different topics then I could easily do a topic a day for a month and cover each topic twice.

At the end of the day, you need to decide what works for you but I hope you can see the possible value of planning ahead and chipping away at tasks.

Make Sure You Go To Your lectures:

I wanted to break up the tips a little bit here because I know some of you reading this will not want to go to your lectures on the final week. I cannot blame you. I knew tons of people didn’t go to some lectures on the final week because they wanted to go home and be with their family earlier.

Now I really can relate to this because I remember in my first year at university, I had some awful lectures on the final week that I could easily not go to. But I went and I made sure I leant about the topic, because I knew it would help in the future. As well as there is an extremely high chance you will be tested on the things you learnt in the last week of term, so do you really want to miss those possible marks?

Personally, I would recommend you go to the lecture, learn some things and not take a possible risk in the future. And anyway, it’s only a few hours of your life and then you’ll get to see your loved ones for an entire month afterwards.

It doesn’t seem that unfair to me.

Keep Your Drive

My final tip for you during the final week is keep your drive, passion and focus up.

I know during the last week, you’re done, fed up and you just want to go home or wherever you’re going. You’ve done university for an entire term and you just want a little break. Meaning your focus, drive and passion nose dives.

I’ve been there. I agree with you. But don’t.

I really do encourage you to keep up your passion and drive during this week, and definitely find out ways to keep this up. Due to you’re going to need the drive and focus when you quickly finish up the week’s reading, assignments and doing the exams.

Believe me, you don’t want to have no drive or focus during an exam!

All in all, focus on the fact that you only have one week left before the break. Give yourself one more week of drive, passion and focus and you’ll almost certainly be thanking yourself in the future. As that drive will help in any exams, lectures and assignments you have that week.

The Best Thing

To wrap up this post I want to end on a very light note and I love this point.

Therefore, as this is university and NOT school, most universities don’t end on Fridays so you’ll probably have a shorter week anyway. I remember in my first year I had a full week because I had a forensic psychology lecture from 4 til 6 on the Friday (yes I wasn’t happy) but my second year I was finished on the Tuesday.

So if you leave this blog post with anything, let it be that the final week isn’t your enemy. It’s an important week that can be a lot of fun and interesting, so look forward to the end and the Christmas break, but plan ahead, turn up to your lectures and keep your drive up and you should be fine.

Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you a great final week and a brilliant Christmas / winter break.

Connor Whiteley
Connor Whiteley

Psychology Student and Podcaster