Finals week: each semester we forget how draining it is until it sneaks up on us once again. The late night cram sessions, the fatigue, the crowded library tables filled with worn out students. The imperative need for a focused mind seems to make it that much harder to actually muster up the motivation for such a thing. Needless to say, the phrase “finals week” has become synonymous with “misery” for many a college student. Well, no more! As a seasoned veteran of plenty of finals weeks myself, I’m bringing you my little tips that always help get me through.
Plan: Even if you think it’s unnecessary, plan out your study schedule. Include meals, study breaks, and even a nap if you need one. Breaking the days down into segments will make the task at hand less overwhelming and will help you stay on track. Feel free to move things around each day too, to fit with what you accomplished the previous day.
Eat: This sounds simple, but it’s a concept forgotten by many students. I’m not just referring to eating a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner (you need fuel!), but to packing healthy and energizing snacks as well. Pack a banana, some water, some pretzels….whatever you prefer! Don’t get distracted by hunger when you should be focusing on the course material.
Ask: Ask questions if you have them! Stop by your professor’s office hours. If you feel comfortable with the material, ask about the exam format and if he or she has any advice to offer. If there is an area you can’t seem to master, ask them to go over it with you. Professors are a valuable academic resource!
Breathe: It’s test time! Stressing yourself out is of no use to you now (yes I know, easier said than done). You’ve studied hard, you know the material, and you’re ready to take the exam – all you need to do is breathe and envision it going smoothly. Now envision it again. Focus your energy into performing well, not worrying.
Celebrate: When I say “celebrate,” I don’t mean stay out until the sun comes up. What I do mean is that it’s important to acknowledge your accomplishment. By finishing another exam, you’re one step closer to being done for the semester. Even if you have back-to-back finals, go for a quick walk in between. Even if it’s for only a few minutes, take the time to revel in the fact that another class has been completed.
We can’t promise that finals will be easy, but you’ve come this far already so finish the semester off right! Being as prepared as possible will help finals week seem more manageable. Good luck!!