Checking Up: Survive being flustered with finals week

Morgan Profumo

The weather is getting hotter, summer is finally upon us and classes are coming to an end. Before we make a race for the pool, most of us have some unfinished business to attend to that comes in the form of a Scantron. Finals week, as much as we all dread it, is inevitable. We can’t fight the system, but we can adopt ways to make the pressures of finals week a little less grueling. 

There are no magic strategies that will make you ace your finals, but there is one method that may help you perform better on your exams: studying.

Although studying seems simple enough, the way you study plays a crucial role in how much information you’re learning and retaining. To begin, you should make a list of all of your finals and projects that will be due during the week. This list will give you a timeline that will allow you to plan accordingly and ensure you are aware of your exam times since the times of the finals often differ from the class’s normal time. 

After being aware of your exam times, you should find a quiet place to study. You may want to try the library, the Downing Student Union study lounge or a designated study area in your dorm. Having a quiet place to study allows you to stay focused and eliminates distractions. 

The techniques you use while studying play a huge role in retention. If you are using a method that doesn’t work for you, then you will not be able to retain the information that you study. Everyone has different preferences, but a few options include making flash cards, repetitive reading of the material, speaking aloud to yourself, drawing pictures or making mnemonic devices and doing practice questions. You may want to go through these options and see which one is the most beneficial and stick to that. 

Studying may seem like the most important facet of acing a final, but consistently studying can be hard on the brain. Don’t forget that your body needs sleep in order to function properly. If you sacrifice sleep for studying, you will have no energy the next day, and your brain will not perform its best. Food is also extremely important, so try to fill yourself with healthy foods that will give you energy and make sure to drink plenty of water. Coffee seems to be a staple of the finals week diet, but building yourself up with caffeine will cause you to crash. Taking care of yourself and getting sleep at night will help you avoid the caffeine trap. 

To help de-stress yourself throughout finals week, there are many activities you can do. You can take a walk, or you may even want to go to the Counseling and Testing Center to help manage your stress. You can also participate in the many finals week activities that are happening around campus, such as playing with puppies in Centennial Mall.

Finals week can be rigorous. It is stressful, exhausting and downright intimidating, but if you relax, study and keep yourself healthy, emotionally and physically, you will conquer. The only thing standing between you and summer vacation is that cumulative biology exam, so buckle down and tackle one thing at a time.