Finals for a theatre major isn’t as easy as people outside of the theatre world may think. We may not spend hours in a lab trying to perfect an experiment, but we spend hours in the theatre trying to perfect that monologue for class. We spend hours in the library trying to research classic works. We try to power through the common core classes when we drive to find more creative ventures than memorizing scientific formulas. In reflecting on this semester’s finals week and the past finals in my last few years as a college student, here’s how I survived this semester’s finals:
Don’t wait until the last minute!
Waiting until the last minute can bring on a whole lot of unnecessary stress. Some people work better under pressure, and that is great...for some people. If you are the type of person who works best under pressure, set yourself an earlier deadline than what’s on the syllabus. If it is a final project, your professor may be willing to accept “drafts” of it before you hand it in on the final day. How much better can you get than getting pre-submission critiques from the person that’s grading you?
Take productive breaks!
Getting writer’s block on that Shakespeare research paper? Step away from the analytical side of things and read a play. Think about how you would handle this material if you were an actor in the production. Now you are looking at the research from a new perspective. You may even find a new monologue you can use in an audition. Been procrastinating updating that resume or portfolio? Take a step back from the essay to update the record of your work.
Make a motivation playlist!
Crank up the tunes to give yourself a rhythm to follow while you study! Below is just a sample of the playlist I created to get me through finals this semester:
● Chop to the top -Spongebob Squarepants The Musical (Original Cast Recording)
● The Schuyler Sisters- Hamilton: An American Musical (Original Broadway Cast
● I Just Can’t Wait To Be King- Lion King (Original Broadway Cast)
● One Jump Ahead- Aladdin (Original Broadway Cast)
● Watch What Happens- Newsies (Original Broadway Cast)
● Stronger- Finding Neverland (Original Broadway Cast)
● 30/90 Playout- Tick, Tick...Boom (Original Cast Recording)
Photo: North Central College