"How To: Finals"
The end of the spring semester has rolled around once again, and no one is safe from the deadly clutches of—drumroll, please—FINALS WEEK. Never mind all your normal homework assignments, never mind your quizzes, never mind all the reading you have to keep up with – now you have to study for your finals, compose your final projects, and coordinate your time, on top of that. Anyone can get overwhelmed. Never fear – there are ways of making even finals month successful.
- Make a safe study space. Studying at home or in the library is okay, but sometimes, you need a space that’s all your own – especially as the library fills with last minute study groups. If you concentrate better with a little noise around you, the cafeteria usually has an empty chair and table that you can utilize. Grabbing a seat in an empty classroom, especially the classroom where you will have your finals, could help you simulate an exam situation. A nearby café may prove to be a good study spot – or one of the many benches or tables around campus, now that the weather has warmed up. The world is your oyster, and you just have to find a steady spot for studying.
- Create – and follow – a study schedule. What’s the use of studying if it’s not done evenly? Creating a study schedule, where you can clearly see what needs to be done in order of importance, is a good way of keeping on top of deadlines and commitments for each class. Imagine, for instance, that it’s Sunday night and you have an Anthropology exam in the morning and an English paper due on Thursday. Your schedule should have both deadlines, but more time should be dedicated towards learning your Anthropology terms, not writing your paper. Creating a study schedule is a good way of juggling all of your classes without forgetting something important.
- Attend office hours and reach out for help! Even if you’ve never attended a professor’s office hours – even if you don’t know your professor’s name (don’t do this; please learn your professor’s name) – if you need help, it’s the best place to seek it. Familiarize yourself with the syllabus… make an appointment, if you need to. Show up and get help. Office hours are an underused resource. Bring your old exams, bring your notes, and bring your questions – since your professor is required to be there during those times, get all the help you can! If office hours don’t work for you, you can also seek help through tutoring or organizing a study session.
- Pack your items! This is so simple, yet so overlooked! Many professors take points off every day that an assignment isn’t turned in – some just give you a zero if the paper isn’t handed in by the end of class. As you complete your assignments, put them into your folder, and put your folder in your backpack. Don’t risk your grade – just do your work and hand it in. A lower grade is better than no grade at all.
- Take frequent breaks. Your grades are important, period. However, in order to get a good grade, you have to take care of yourself. There’s nothing anyone can do living on Red Bull, 1% phone battery, and a half-an-hour of sleep. Hydrate yourself, sleep eight hours a night, and organize your materials. Take care of yourself, and you can take care of your life.
The very word “finals” can send a chill down any college student’s spine. However, with a plan in hand, it can be done. Just think – if you can marathon an entire season on Netflix in one night, or stay up the entire night on coffee and energy drinks the night before your Biology final, you can start implementing study skills at the beginning of the week rather than the last minute. Stay safe studying, and have a great summer break!