5 Things to be Thankful for Between Now and Finals Week

The feast has been eaten, you’ve slept 12 hours a night and your homework has been … avoided.  Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the ENORMOUS amount of work that still needs to be done before Finals Week.  With only two weeks left in the semester before it’s time to face finals, here are five things to turn to for inspiration when the going gets tough.


Photo courtesy of UM

Snow White and the Bitter Cold

Wait?  Be thankful for the COLD?  YES, I say!  Remember how difficult it was to go inside and do homework when the summer sun beckoned or autumn sunsets called your name?  Now that the average temperature will hover somewhere around -72 degrees (give or take) for awhile, you no longer have pristine outdoor distractions pulling you away from your studies.  It might take some effort to be thankful for this, but try to remember how easy it is to make time to study today when May rolls around!


Photo courtesy of UM

Where’s all the snow?!

For many, winter sports are an unbeatable part of life in Montana. Sledding, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing … the list goes on and on.  With so many recreational temptations, how can one possibly stay focused on the task-at-hand of dominating our final projects and exams?  Mother Nature is looking out for all the winter sports loving academics, however, by holding off a while longer before showering us in the snow  we’ve been dreaming of.  So every morning when you wake up and have to choose between a day on the slopes or a day in the library, be thankful that there isn’t quite enough snow yet to tear you away from the books.


Photo courtesy of Bernice’s Bakery

The Cheat Month

Wintertime’s cold makes it the perfect time to take advantage of the onslaught of holiday treats to get some welcome relief from school-related stress.  I’m not recommending everyone go overboard in eating their feelings, but gathering some friends and making a special trip to Caffe Dolce, Break Espresso, Bernice’s Bakery or the newly opened Krispy Kreme donut shop for coffee and sweets can make for a fantastic diversion anyone can be thankful for.


Photo courtesy of The Missoulian

Stress Less!

DO NOT forget to stop by the UC during the final stretch leading up to Finals.  Curry Health brings in dogs to pet, bubbles to blow, tea, masseurs and who know what else to help us make it through the intense weeks leading up to the end of the semester.  Don’t miss out on your chance to relax.  You owe it to yourself!


Photo courtesy of UM

The Missoula Community

One of the best things about living in a college town is that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, knows and is sympathetic to the plight of the college student approaching finals week.  Take a moment to look around you at the outpouring of support from your fellow students and community members.  It’s especially evident when you happen to mention that you’re “getting ready for finals,” and pair it with a hopeful grin.  You’ll see exactly how much your fellow human wants you to succeed.

The best thing to be thankful for is that the end is near.  You’ve almost made it through another semester and are that much closer to finishing your degree.  Each day, each test and each stressor that passes by gets you one step closer to the completion of this major undertaking.  Don’t EVER forget to be thankful for the progress you’ve made!