Staying Positive and Organized During Finals
By Briana Luca, Student at Iona College
The end of the semester is rearing its ugly head. With every day that passes, we are one step closer to Christmas break and you can feel the excitement in the air throughout campus.
Mixed with that excitement, there is also a bit of dread because with the end of the semester comes the one word all college students hate: FINALS.
Whether you have one or five, finals are the bane of all college students’ existence. It’s a recipe for disaster with long nights, study guides and pounds of coffee. There is no escaping finals unless you are the one lucky student who doesn’t have any ... and those are a rare breed.
There are many tips and tricks in order to achieve the best finals grade possible: stay organized and don’t stress! It’s easier said than done, but there are multiple ways to unwind and stay positive throughout finals.
The best thing to do during finals week is stay organized. If you’re organized, that’s half the battle. Prepare in advance for your studying time and all will be well.
The first step in becoming organized is to create a schedule. Determine which days you are going to study for each test. No matter how easy the test is, make sure you study for your first exam first. I’ve made that mistake in the past and it didn’t work out in my favor.
Next, you should create study guides. This should be done a few weeks prior to exam week because you don’t want to be sitting in the library making study guides two days before your exam. Outline everything you are going to need to know for the exam a few weeks before and print the guides out. This will help you because you’re reading a condensed version of your notes and it makes it much easier to read and have the information sink in. I love highlighting my notes. I think it helps even though some people say that highlighting is pointless. If it’s going to help you remember, HIGHLIGHT AWAY!
Make sure to read what your teacher assigns you. Most of the questions might come from the readings and if you think that it’s a waste of your time, you’ll be sorry once you see questions straight from the reading material.
Lastly, stay away from study groups. It might seem like a good idea but most of the time, whether you are studying with friends or not, you’ll get sidetracked and studying will be the last thing on your mind.
Keeping positive and staying organized will help your grades but might not ease your mind. Finals are some of the most stressful weeks of the semester and you need to remain calm -- otherwise, you’ll thoughts will get the best of you.
There are a few stress relievers that could help you in staying calm while preparing for your exams. First, check to see if your school offers any “stress-free zones” during finals week; a lot of schools will offer coffee and doughnuts, free massages or movie nights to unwind during this hectic time. Take advantage of these activities even if you feel as though they will stray you from studying.
Another stress reliever is to take mini-breaks from studying. Do something for yourself: paint your nails, go to the gym for a half hour or take a shower. These will ease your mind and allow you to relax so you aren’t too wound up. Something else you can do is read a few chapters of your favorite book to get your mind off the information you’re studying.
You can’t sit in the library for 10 hours and expect to know everything. Your mind needs a break and these are perfect little things to do to ensure that you don’t burn your brain out during finals week.
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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