How to Survive Exam Season While Celebrating the Holiday Season

It can be difficult to get excited about the holidays when there's an entire week of exams standing in your way. Long gone are the days of Christmas sing alongs and cookie swaps in the classroom. Holiday fun isn't provided for us anymore, so it's up to us to seek out some cheer between study sessions.

You don't have to be a total Grinch during finals week, but you also don't have to go full-on Buddy the Elf (unless you really want to annoy your studious friends). So here are five ways you can celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, and not sacrifice those grades.

Add festive touches to your workspace // While an entire Christmas tree might not be suitable for your flat or dorm, there's always alternatives! Whether its a mini Christmas tree that you picked up at the grocery store or a dinky little fake one like mine, having a few cheery spots on your desk will remind you of the good times ahead- talk about extra motivation!

It does the job.

Leave (some) evenings free // As a pro procrastinator myself, I find it far too easy to let the day slip away, forcing me to work into the wee hours of the morning. But if you let your study schedule slide too often, you're sure to miss out on a few evening parties. Because I'm never one to say no to an invite, I'm constantly trying to complete most of my revision by the late afternoon. And even if I don't have anything on my social calendar, leaving evenings free allows me to take some time to myself and catch up on The Mindy Project.

Reward yourself with holiday themed flicks // Speaking of television, the holidays are prime time to watch heartwarming movies and catch some of the best episodes of your favorite shows. Once you've checked everything (or nearly everything) off of your long to-do list, reward yourself with a little bit of solo Netflix and chill (literal chill if you live in a flat like mine). And you're not just limited to movies here- get nostalgic and watch the holiday themed episodes of your favorite childhood shows! Both the Christmas and Hanukkah episodes of the Rugrats are my personal favorites.

Bake your heart out // An easy way to amp up the holiday spirit without leaving the flat and wasting too much precious study time is by baking. Whether it's the Christmas cookies your mom always makes (text her for the recipe and then FaceTime her when it all goes wrong) or some crazy dessert mashup you found on Buzzfeed, the sweet smells of chocolate and gingerbread are sure to put everyone in your apartment in a good mood. Make sure to have Michael Buble's Christmas album playing in the background- it makes all the difference.

I made a swiss roll the other day and didn't completely fail! The swirl isn't on point though.
Don't try to do it all // As cliche as it sounds, this piece of advice is probably the most important of all. It's hard enough trying to study for exams under regular circumstances, but when the Facebook events keep rolling in and you're itching to fly home to put ornaments up on the tree, it seems like it's nearly impossible to focus on schoolwork. Remember that doing well on your exams is really important, but keep in mind that it might be a good idea to be social every once in a while to maintain your sanity and not become a complete hermit.

It's also important to remember that everyone is feeling stressed- we all have exams coming up, and most of us haven't even started our Christmas shopping yet (myself included- sorry, family!). But all the craziness will be worth it when I'm sitting on the couch watching reruns of House Hunters International with my mom, drinking tea and not worrying about essays or exams.

So here's to that final push before the holidays- good luck!

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