Surviving Finals Week 101
Finals week. That one week of the semester where we feel our brains are constantly about to explode. Luckily, we have some tips for everyone as they enter their last few weeks of classes and exams! These next 7 tips are sure to relieve some stress.
- Plan Ahead – A big mistake that so many of us make is studying the weekend before finals and thinking that everything will turn out just fine later that week. What’s even worse is the fact that if we had just planned ahead, we could have improved our scores by a few points, maybe even a letter grade. To avoid this, create a plan about 3 weeks out from your own finals week. Look at the syllabuses from all your courses and determine whether each course is cumulative or not. From there, you will be able to create a strong schedule of allowing more time for one course, rather than another.
- Create an Effective Environment – When we sit down to study, we should be placing ourselves in an environment free of distraction. One of the best ways to do this is to take two subjects with you, and find a building that has desks in its hallways. Post up camp in one of these desks and do not leave. Don’t bring headphones; don’t bring anything but the necessities. Allowing yourself to focus on only one thing, is sure to increase retention and productivity. What’s even more, have a friend change your Facebook and Twitter passwords – this will keep you from constantly checking during your study breaks and getting out of your groove.
Also, try your best to avoid study groups. Though they hold to their purpose as far as motivation goes, it does not always allow us to think independently and move at our own pace. If you do choose to study in a group setting, make sure your peers are of equal intelligence, so you are not hindering your own learning.
- Eat – Our bodies and brains need energy and power to make it through these next few weeks, one of the best ways to improve our potential is by taking control of our diet. Limiting sugar, caffeine, and saturated fat intake, will allow our bodies to uphold the stresses and anxiety that finals week puts on our bodies. Remember, caffeine is a temporary solution, which actually dehydrates us. Increasing our water intake and staying hydrated will help to increase concentration.
An extra tip to avoid any unnecessary weight gain – make sure to keep all of your snacks in a container. Put the exact serving size and travel with that, not the entire box or bag. This will allow you to avoid over indulgence.
- Exercise – This may be one of the last things that you have on your list to complete, but it should be just as important as getting enough to eat. Carve out 45 minutes, every other day, devoted to just hitting the gym. Allowing yourself that time to be away from the books, computers, and everything else school related, will allow you to come back to your study spot with a clean slate. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase concentration AND it helps with retention!
- Maintain Balance – I know we are all broke college students and need to make money, but if you can afford it, adjust your working hours in these next few weeks. Along with that, limit extra curricular activities, too. Stretching oneself too thin in a stressful time such as finals, is only setting you up for failure.
- Sleep – Let’s start off with this point… ALL NIGHTERS ARE NOT EFFECTIVE. Being without sleep for over 24 hours is the equivalent of being under the influence. Although some may feel that it is an effective way to get their projects done, all it does is hinder their performance that next day. We college students need anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep per night, to maintain optimal wellness. Needless to say, get some rest.
- Reward Yourself – Although you should be studying as much as possible, allow yourself to take a break. Whether its watching one episode of your new Netflix addiction, going to get a snack with a friend, or even just going for a walk – taking a short break at least twice during every 3 hour study period allows the brain to more clearly process all of the incoming information.
We hope that all of these tips can help our readers end their semester on a great note! Best of luck during your last few weeks of class and exams!
The Greekgear Team