I don’t know how hectic your school schedule is, but it’s getting close to finals week for me. Finals are a time of the year when a student will either sink or swim. Over the past 3 years, I have done both. However, in that time I’ve learned ways to get through finals week without jamming a power drill in my forehead. And because you’re such a beautiful audience, I will share the ages old secrets with you all. Just hide your power drill and follow these guidelines, and you should be golden.
1. Create a schedule for studying.
Do this as soon as you figure out when your finals will be. It will save you from the trap of having 3 finals and one day to study for all of them. Some teachers will let you reschedule finals if you have this many, but you should always stay on top of this yourself. Create a schedule of the entire week, giving your most important finals priority over ones that may be easier or not matter quite as much.
2. Are your friends done with finals? Are they partying? Forget about them!
Most of us have been in the position where we have 1 or 2 more finals to go, and some (or all) of our friends are done with theirs. Nobody wants to be stuck in the library all night while their friends are at the bar partying harder than David Hasselhoff. You have to get in the zone, find a quiet place to study, and do work. There is plenty of time to party on the weekends.
3. Make sure to get a decent amount of sleep.
This is hard for me, being one of those people who is attempting to go to sleep at 3am everyday. What I do is try to stay at the library until 30 minutes before I plan to go to bed. When it’s time to sleep, don’t watch TV, play on the Internet (unless you’re ordering from eCampus.com’s NEW college clothing store), or play video games. You want everything you just learned to remain fresh in your brain.
4. Know your best strategies.
We all have our own ways of studying. Do what works for you. What I do is create a study guide, hand-write it all, study note cards, then try to write everything I know off the top of my head. After that it’s rinse and repeat until I feel confident (or I have to leave the library because some freshman is blabbering on about someone’s Facebook status for an hour).
5. Study groups – split up the work, and get to work.
Try this whenever possible. Mention that you’re trying to organize a study group a day or two before your final. Break down the study guide into sections and have everybody do a section. This will complete the study guide in no time. Then you can move on to your own strategies, with or without the group.
6. Find a song that helps you deal with the stress.
Finals week are no doubt the most stressful part of college. Don’t let the stress take control. Find a song that will calm you down or one that reminds you of home. I like Bob Marley- Everything is gonna be alright. It takes me to my happy place. Between that and the thought of being home for the holidays, my stress almost seems worth it.
7. Have a reward waiting for you at home.
I like to save one of my favorite beers for the moment I finish studying. It helps me knowing that I have something to look forward to after the 8-hour study sessions. Be sure to buy it before you start studying. Why? Last night I was at the library from 8 pm to 2:30am. It just so happens that bars close and alcohol sales stop at 2:30 here.
8. Keep some candy or fruit snacks in your backpack.
This is a good way to momentarily take your mind off of things when feeling restless. When you start to feel the stress or fatigue, eat some sour gummy worms. 60 seconds later you will realize that you need to get back to reality, but for those 60 seconds, your brain is thinking happy thoughts.
Final note: I hope that these tips help you make solid studying decisions. Give it your best and let your brain do the rest. When the smoke clears, you will survive finals week.
I’m reading Living Religions