With Finals Week just around the corner, I’m sure you are feeling the heat of your upcoming due dates and exams (no thanks to the dreadful procrastination). And with finals, papers, projects, and presentations galore come a great deal of added stress. Not to mention, it is extremely hard to focus on schoolwork with Winter Break being so close that we can almost touch it. Here are some tips on how to power through this next week and manage the all too familiar stress of Finals Week.
- Make a study strategy
Before you go out guns blazing with all of your textbooks and notes ready to study, make a written plan as to what needs to be done for each subject as well as specific due dates for each assignment or task. It is easier to keep track of everything if it is written down and organized. Then determine what you think should be completed first and last. The best part of this idea is that when you finish a task, you get to cross it off your list. Visualizing your to-do’s as well as your completed assignments allows your brain to remain organized and feel accomplished.
Though it may seem like the last thing you have time for, you need to rest and sleep. Sleep is very important for your brain and body to be able to rejuvenate, which helps you concentrate, multitask, and actually remember all of that information you studied. Don’t procrastinate and avoid that all-nighter, because it won’t benefit you in the long run.
- Eat healthy meals and snacks
Even though it is much easier to grab some fast food and head to the library, it is best to continue eating nutritious food throughout the week. Healthy foods keep you energized and allow for better concentration and memory. Do your best to make your own meals or choose healthier options at the Café. Fruits and vegetables are the way to go.
- Go to the campus events
If you didn’t already know, there are a bunch of events going on around campus before and during finals week. CAB is currently hosting Winter Fest where there is a fun, stress-relief event every day of the week prior to finals. Also, during finals week, there is usually a late night special at the Café. This is a great way to take a break from studying and socialize with fellow Duhawks. Make sure to check out all of the events happening around campus.
- Take breaks
Do not forget to take a break from all your schoolwork. Studying for a long period of time will break your focus, and while you think studying for hours at a time is beneficial, you will actually have a harder time retaining that information. That being said, these breaks should only last for a reasonable amount of time in order for you to stay on track. Like I said before, you can take a break by going to the campus events, or you can simply watch an episode of Netflix, eat a snack, socialize, and more.
- Make study groups
With the right group of people, study groups can be very beneficial and help relieve the stress of understanding all of the material on your own. After learning and trying to make sense of the material individually, meet up with a study group so you ensure that you understand it correctly. Also, you or your group members might have a pneumonic device or some trick to understanding the material that will be able to help everyone. Multiple brains are better than one.
- Put down your phone
While technology is very useful for this time of year, it can also be detrimental to your concentration and progress. Either turn your phone off completely or keep it somewhere where you won’t be constantly checking it. Doing so will keep you from being distracted from social media and the buzzing notifications, thus allowing you to focus on your studies.
- Stay hydrated
I hope this seems obvious to all of you, but make sure to keep drinking water. I know coffee may be essential for some of you, but caffeine will actually make you more dehydrated. And dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, and even dizziness, which will break your concentration. Allow your body to feel well so your mind can feel well too.
- Write down your exam times
The last thing you want to do is study for an exam just to find out that you missed it because you thought it was at the wrong time. Look over your syllabi and write down the day and time of each of your finals. There is no reason for you to be stressing about remembering when you have to be where, so just write it down and be done with it.
- Ask for help
If you are not understanding something, don’t allow it to make you stressed out. Ask your professor for extra help during his or her office hours to explain what is causing you trouble. Your professors want you to succeed, so do not be afraid to set up an appointment with them. They will want to help and will be glad that you didn’t wait to ask before it was too late. Getting help and understanding the material will be a big stress reliever.
- Keeping perspective
After looking at all your deadlines and exams coming up, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. But don’t let your stress get the better of you. Although finals are important, remember that they are only a few tests and a few days that—more than likely—do not determine the rest of your life. Remember to look at the grand scheme of your life. And just think, once you are finished with your finals, it’ll be Winter Break!