It is almost there you can taste it; it tastes like cinnamon and freedom!!! Holiday break is right around the corner, but first, finals! I don’t know about you, but the word ‘finals’ makes my body instantly go heavy and filled with dread. Let’s just call it what it is, no sugar plum coating it–finals stink! They are horrible, especially when you are already burnt out and winter break is just around the corner. So, how do you stay motivated when you need to pack, buy gifts and go to all those holiday parties? Here are some tips for juggling the holidays and finals.

1. Make a nice list. This is the fun list! Make a list of all the things you cannot wait to do for the holidays. A list of going to see holiday lights, Christmas parties, making cookies, packing, going shopping or just having some holiday fun should be some list items, for sure.

2. Make a not-so-nice list. This is the finals list, BAH HUMBUG! This list is your study list, and all the things you really do not want to do. For example, read history book chapters 1-5, finish outline and book for English, and try to figure out how to actually study for that math final, etc.

Now that you have your lists, it is time to plan. Get out a trusty calendar or make your own bullet planner. Take some items off your ‘not-so-nice list’ like read history book chapters 1 and 2 once you complete that, then you can take a break for two hours to go see Christmas lights. Read chapter 2 at Starbucks while rewarding yourself with a peppermint mocha latte.

It is the holidays–reward yourself with a job well done! Yes, it sucks to spend three hours finishing that book you were supposed to read two month ago, but reading it while curled up in a comfy blanket drinking some holiday drinks sure makes it better. Maybe you have a big holiday party this weekend and you are looking forward to finally meeting your crush under the mistletoe. If you finish all your history reading, you can reward yourself by getting your nails done or getting your hair and makeup done. It might seem silly, but if you keep yourself motivated, who cares!

If the motivation of a list starts to fall flat, get a study buddy or a study group. Nothing keeps you on track than a friend keeping you accountable. Who says a study group can’t be fun? Why not make your study group fun and festive for the holidays? Everyone can make their favorite holiday treats and bring them to study group. Yes, you are still studying, but you also get a nice sugar high to keep you up those late hours.

Finals are the Grinch of the holiday season; they are a necessary evil in an otherwise joyous holiday. We have all been there and made it out alive! Be sure to just keep yourself motivated, put in the work and don’t forget to reward yourself. Hope you all have a happy and safe holiday season!

How do you juggle finals with the holidays? Let us know your study hacks in the comments!