How to survive finals week

By Lwilliams
05/29/2015
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Does this sound at all familiar? It is right before Thanksgiving break, and you realize that finals are coming up soon. But, hey! You have so much time. Then, it’s a week before finals, and you’re basically in the same place you were three weeks ago. #FreakingOut. So, you start cramming and reviewing the notes you took the first week of class (“Did I even write this? None of this makes sense!”) #StartPanicking. Before you know it, you’re a sleepwalking zombie that starts blurting out random facts, hoping you have enough Red Bull to get you through that first day of tests. No. Never again. If this doesn’t sound familiar, don’t let it happen. You still have time! In fact, we’re going to give you ways to help survive finals week now so you don’t turn into a living college meme.

Put it in writing

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The Grinch, with a valid point, Courtesy of Tumblr.

Whether you like to kick it old school by writing in a personal planner or you’d rather have your phone remind you of appointments on your Google calendar, it’s time to start plugging those important dates into your schedule. Your class syllabus should have all of your exam dates and times, so put them all in one place in whatever format of an agenda you prefer. Set up reminders, make a countdown, schedule study sessions. Putting it on the calendar will not only help you remember the test dates, but it will also help you in scheduling other life events (you know, like sports, a job, volunteer commitments, sleep). If you start now, you may even be able to take some time off the week before exams instead of spending late nights cramming.

Make the time

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Rory feeling our pain Courtesy of Surviving College.

Ever opened a textbook only to feel like you need a break after 5 minutes? Don’t burn yourself out. Schedule study sessions in short one or two-hour periods, and shuffle subjects so you don’t get exhausted. Start with the subject that is most difficult for you or the one with the largest project. We all know that putting things off until the last minute is never a good idea, but we all fall victim to procrastination a time or two. Break your projects into small chunks now, and make the time and commitment to get it done.

Take a break

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Clothes, Fragrances, Massages, Mimosas and Fine Leather Goods Courtesy of Tumblr.

Yes, you heard us. Take a break. You’ll avoid getting super stressed by taking frequent breaks. Hit up the gym, listen to some music, watch TV. Really, just be sure you take some time away from your project or studying and allow yourself to breathe. You have the luxury of time right now. But, if you wait up until the last week, don’t forget to do the basics, like eat and sleep. Don’t rely on energy drinks alone. You’ll perform even better on the exam if you keep your natural energy up with healthier options. Did we mention sleep? Because that’s important.

Know your learning style

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Rhetorical Questions Courtesy of Tumblr.

Everyone learns a little differently. Visual learners could benefit from making note cards or an outline to help focus on important topics. Auditory learners may want to read aloud, record notes or use podcasts to help reinforce materials. Find what works for you.

Be prepared

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Getting it done, dropping the papers and walking away Courtesy of Tumblr.

After staring at the same thing for so long, it’s hard to see the fault in your own work. For final projects, use friends or tutors to look over your work or papers for any errors you may have missed.  Also, double check your classes’ grading guidelines and rubrics for each assignment to make sure you don’t miss anything. If you’re taking an exam in class, and time allows it, review over your answers before turning it in. You’re in the final homestretch, so make sure all that time and effort you invested are paying off. Before you know it, finals will be here – and gone. Use these tips now to avoid a possible meltdown before the big exam day. In fact, get your friends on board with study sessions and help reviewing material.

You’ve got this! Best of luck to you all, and may the curve be ever in your favor. Image Courtesy of betcheslovethis
Let's not exaggerate. Finals are not as bad as battling to the death, Courtesy of betcheslovethis

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