Eyes are bleared, coffee supplies are depleted, fingers are cramped from typing all semester, and professors have collected course evaluations. Ah, it must be RRR week. RRR formally stands for “Reading, Review, and Recitation” week, but sometimes, it feels a lot more like “Rejoice (that winter break is close), Relax (and binge-watch Netflix), and Realize (how much work is left to be done).” To some, RRR week is a blessing, a break coming at the right moment. To others, it’s an ominous reminder of all the work still to be done.
Here are my tips for how to make RRR productive, successful, and as painless as possible:
1) Have some fun!
While this is a week for writing those papers and preparing for those finals, it marks the end of a 15-week semester filled with long days, late nights, and lots of papers and exams. So take a break. Watch a TV episode or two, bake some holiday cookies, or go ice skating in the city. Give yourself a mental break for a few hours, so that when you return to your work you come back refreshed and ready to tackle your assignments.
2) But you should also study.
Don’t wait til the last day, hour, or minute to study. Start early in the week. Believe me, finding motivation on Monday and Tuesday of RRR week is tough, but the earlier you start your papers and make your study guides, the more sane you’ll be later in the week. Even if you only get a couple hours of work done each day at the beginning of the week, you’ll be that much happier at the end of the week.
3) Study with a friend:
It’s no fun to study alone and sitting alone in your room can lead to Facebook procrastination. So find a study buddy! Head to the library or a coffee shop together and be each other’s motivator to get work done.
4) Explore new places to study while you’re at it:
Working at the same desk on the same floor of the same library each day can get monotonous and make you want to run as far away from your finals as possible. So explore new places to study. Check out new coffee shops, explore new libraries, maybe even just try working on another floor of a library you’re used to working in. The difference in scenery and environment can be the stimulus you need to power through and get your work done!
Here’s my RRR / finals week checklist:
• My computer (and charger – don’t forget this if you’ll be out all day!)
• Headphones (put on some tunes if you need to clear your head or use them to block out café chatter)
• Bananas (don’t forget to eat healthily during this week to keep up your energy and avoid getting sick)
• Water bottle (stay hydrated as well!)
• Christmas socks (to remind me of the promise of what’s ahead!)
Good luck on finals, Golden Bears!