The Harvard Crimson


Finals week is fast approaching, and you know what that means: 40 hours of lectures because you’ve skipped class all semester. But before all the fun of finals, moving house, and graduation (congratulations seniors!), we have a weird week of transition that Harvard calls reading time! Maybe you’ll use those seven days to catch up on sleep or venture to new places to avoid your roommate who is now in the dorm too often. Either way, here are some tips for making the most of that precious time before Finals week.

Take a tour of the libraries

Harvard has more than 70 libraries in its undergraduate and graduate schools. While I can’t guarantee you’ll have quick access to all of them, you can definitely try to visit plenty of them and pray to the finals gods that you survive all your exams. It will be like River Run but (hopefully) restrained and more academic.

Schedule crying sessions

The semester – no, the whole school year – has certainly been difficult in many ways. Returning to campus after so many remote semesters and having to (*gasp*) socialize again can be difficult for anyone. Go to class and take three-hour math exams? Not the atmosphere. Whether it’s studies, social life, the crush that started dating someone else, or coming to terms with the fact that turkeys live in trees and can attack you from above at all times, your feelings are so, so valid. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes! Gather your closest friends (human or stuffed) and let the emotions flow.

Form study groups

Studying alone on Lamont’s second floor sucks. Being silenced in the Widener Reading Room is just plain embarrassing. Instead, take a trip to a talking library with classmates and study together! You can split classes to watch and teach each other or complain about the unfairness of the grading system for the class (why can only a certain percentage of the class get an A?). Bonus points if you form a study group with your crush. It’s not an actual date, but it will be for you and that’s all that matters.

Interrogate. For. To help.

You’ll regret your overconfidence soon enough, so swallow your pride and ask for help if you need it. Professors, Section Heads, TFs, ARC Tutors, Writing Center, Librarians and so many more are so willing to help. Leverage your resources early on before you crash the day before the exam.

relax for a second

Go have a picnic near the Charles (if Boston can stop being the windiest city for a second). Reward yourself with a little BerryLine. Go to the gym and try to intimidate the athletes by stepping onto the treadmill right next to them even if the others are empty and overpowering both their speed and resistance. Host a karaoke night (but not at 2 a.m. in your dorm). Go on an excursion off campus (leave early because everything closes at 5 p.m. in Boston apparently). Host a party to celebrate the end of the semester.

Whether you decide to study or relax or rage during reading time, here is finally the end of another school year. Congratulate yourself on completing two more semesters without dropping out. Are you okay darling !


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