Where did November go? And if we are going to ask that question, what happened to September and October as well? As a student I saw the fall semester as a slide you would find on a playground. Up until Thanksgiving break you struggle and climb to make your way to the top of the slide, and then it is all “downhill” from there. The last week and a half of class goes by in a flash just as quick as it takes you to slide down the slide. And then…it’s FINALS WEEK!

For many of you this is your first experience taking final exams in college. I want to give you three pieces of advice – things that I learned as a student over the past four years here at Georgetown.

  1. Start now. If you studied well for exams throughout the past semester you will already have a leg up (remember this for next spring to those of you who didn’t). Commit yourself to studying 1-2 hours each night starting now. If you have particular classes you know will be more difficult, start with those first. Get yourself organized now on when your tests are and plan out chunks of time you can devote to studying. It is never too early.
  2. Stay calm. Finals are not here to terrify you. It is understandable to accumulate slight anxiety over them, but do not let your fear of them affect your performance. It is like preparing for a big game. If you think too hard on it or psych yourself out before you even take the court, you probably won’t have the best game of your life. The same goes with the exam. Stay calm, breathe, and give it your best shot.
  3. Have fun. Yes. It is possible to have fun during finals time. I remember specifically my first round of final exams here at Georgetown College was a blast – building gingerbread houses, driving around looking at Christmas lights, etc. Make time for the fun things. It will hurt you if you don’t allow yourself a break every once in a while. I am not saying do not take finals serious, I am just saying you need to learn how to give yourself a good break. Take advantage of Midnight Brunch (one of my favorite traditions here at GC) or visit Hong’s in the middle of the night to get some of the best donuts in town.

Remember – you have worked hard all semester. Do not let off the gas now. Push through finals with confidence, determination, and some fun. Good luck! You can do it!

Heather Norman is a 2011 graduate of Georgetown College. Currently, she is working as an assistant in the Academic Enhancement office here on campus.