By Kate Doctor
It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting chillier, the semester is dying down and the campus is preparing/panicking over finals coming up in two weeks. If you want to get through it (somewhat) unscathed, here are a few tips that have helped me out:
1. Do not doubt the importance of naps.
Some people prepare for their finals with the mentality that, “No! I need to stay awake so that I can study for this exam all night long!” It is these same people that we see shuffling into exams with a dead look in their eyes, looking as if they might collapse at any given point in time and looking as if they have just given up.
If you absolutely MUST stay up to study, it would be wise to take naps every two hours or so, not exceeding 30 minutes.
If it goes for more than 30 minutes, you might not want to get up at all.
Caffeine can be a necessary evil at this time of year. Finals, like a dementor, can suck the happiness and energy out of us when we need it the most. This is where caffeine comes to the rescue! Coffee is the life blood of the average college student.
We use it to wake up and we use it to stay awake as well. Coffee isn’t the only way to get the caffeine kick so desperately needed (for some) during this time of year though.
There are also tea, certain sodas (think Mountain Dew) and energy drinks/supplements (think 5-Hour Energy). However, be careful not to drink too much, lest you get jittery and flail a pen across a room during your final.
3. Indulge a bit.
When I say indulge, I don’t necessarily mean make a bee-line to the waffle maker for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout finals week (unless that’s what you are into). I mean check out some of the activities that are being organized around campus and take a bit of time to yourself between exams and study marathons.
Take a study break in the Rec with Stress Less with Pets, where the Humane Society brings in animals that students can hold and play with. Take a nap, hang out with some friends and go to Midnight Brunch (they have awesome chocolate chip pancakes).
4. Use study sessions to your advantage.
If a professor offers a study session, go to it! Organize a study group for finals you feel particularly nervous about. I find that this can help with philosophy finals in particular. As the old saying goes, “Two heads are better than one!” and this is certainly true for
5. Divide and conquer!
Divide up your study material into workable chunks that you can study over a few days before your final. This will help you retain information more easily and also keep you from sobbing into your textbook at 3:30 in the morning, convinced that you are going to flunk this thing.
6. Have hope.
It will all be over soon. Just imagine that glorious full month of vacation we will be getting. It’s almost within our reach. Don’t let finals deter you from that dream. Knock those tests out and show them who’s boss.
Hopefully these tips will help you get through finals more smoothly and with less hair ripping and sobbing. Good luck!