How To Survive Finals Week In Grad School In 6 Easy Steps

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If you happen to be one of those super lucky people who needs a master’s degree to actively participate in life, chances are, your life has been pretty fucking miserable the last few months. As someone who works upward of 45 hours a week, writes for the internet, and attempts to have a life all while trying to keep the lights on, I understand the struggle of having homework perpetually dumped on your lap that’s always due during those precious few seconds you have solely to yourself.

We’re not those bright-eyed, carefree, cracked out kids we once were. We have bills and bedtimes now. So, I’ve come up with a guide to help get us all through this tumultuous time–this way, we can act just like undergrads this weekend and drink so much that we forget our names and everything we learned this semester, like God intended. That hangover will surpass in a few weeks.

1. Get the fuck away from your house.

I don’t care if you have to go to Barnes & Noble, the closest Starbucks, your parents’ house, or to the eighth floor of your alma mater’s library like the good old days–just get out. If you stay, you will tackle that pile of laundry that’s been sitting on your floor for six weeks, scrub the baseboards, perform every home improvement project on the mental list you’ve kept since you moved in, wash every dish by hand, and wipe down the damn ceiling fan blades. You’ll find anything to procrastinate further on that 25-page thesis due tomorrow night, including writing a column that looks oddly familiar to this one. Just leave. Better yet, burn that shithole down. You’ll get nothing accomplished there.

2. Try to remember who you used to get Adderall from in undergrad.

What was his name again? Ethan? Evan? Emeril? Whatever happened to Emeril Lagasse? Is he still on the Food Network? Did Guy Fieri replace him because his hair game is stronger? I wonder what time “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” comes on tonight. I wonder if I can write this paper before then. Okay, focus. You can do this. Wait, what was I doing? Why is my contacts app open? I don’t even talk to these people. Who are you? Oh my God, I haven’t seen him in forever. I wonder what he’s up to… (Facebook creeps for next two hours.)

3. Call in sick from work.

You’re never going to knock out these papers if you’re spending precious time affording to live. Call in sick with the stomach virus. Nobody wants that shit, and it’s up in the air for how long you may have it. If one day isn’t enough for you, BAM–you suddenly have the 48-hour bug. Two straight days of nothing but staring at and sleeping on your laptop should be enough to get most, if not all, of your work done. When you finally show back up to the office after your two-day residency in hell with those bags under your eyes and looking thinner due to the lack of proper nutrition, nobody will question the misery you’ve been subjected to the last two days, or the fact that you “just don’t want to talk about it.”

4. Avoid the inevitable crash at all costs.

Just a reminder: you’re going to have to be awake to accomplish things. It’s all fun and games until you wake up face-first on your keyboard at 5 a.m. to proof that you slept on the forward slash key for a very long time. You can buy as many K cups or 5-Hour Energy shots as you’d like, but I would like to suggest intravenously hooking yourself up to the espresso machine behind the counter at your local Starbucks. Not only are you skipping the middle man, but you’ll avoid atrocious coffee breath, save the environment, find and take out ISIS like you’re SEAL Team Six, and maybe even cure cancer by the time it’s all said and done. A lot can be accomplished when you’re so hyped up that you can see sounds. Pregame it with a shot of tequila, just to keep finals interesting, and make America proud.

5. Find music that helps keep you in the zone.

I can’t sit in my chair and work on anything if “Turn Down For What” begins to play, mainly because I forget how to read words when that song comes on. You’re going to need something that keeps you in your butt-numbing seat for a while and helps you focus. In college, I would always listen to the BBMak station on Pandora, because I thrived off of nostalgia and reliving the late ‘90s. As it turns out, I still do. I would urge you to stay away from anything you might hear at a bar, including country, because all it’s going to take is one round of “Wagon Wheel” and your concentration is shot. Yeah, sure, there’s classical music, but I can’t listen to it for long without waking up face-first on my keyboard at 5 a.m.

6. Have an age-appropriate celebration.

Listen, kids–this isn’t fucking tee ball. You’re in the big leagues now and you need to act like it with top-shelf bourbon and strippers, and maybe some penetration. Or just some ZzzQuil and a nap. After all, you’re only as old as you feel.

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My state gave you J. Law, Clooney, two-fifths of the Backstreet Boys, and multiple fifths of bourbon. I gave you a cover letter using Brian McKnight lyrics. Psuedo-adult by day; PGP, TFM, and TSM contributor by night. Please don't ask me to do math.

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