Hey first years! We hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving break and were able to relax a little bit before coming back to campus, but now that you’re back, it’s time to buckle down! The next few weeks are going to be filled with projects, exams, assignments, and odds and ends to get together before our Winter break! If you’re anything like me, this week has hit you hard with the reality of your responsibilities for the next few weeks, and you’re slightly freaking out! BUT, don’t worry FYE is here to provide some advice on how to stay positive and get things done so you can enjoy your Winter break!
Step 1: Map out your finals.
Go through your syllabi and find out when your finals are and also what kind of finals they will be (i.e- exam, paper, presentation, etc.) Different finals may take more time to complete or study for, so knowing what you need to get done will help you. Personally, I know that presentations take the least amount of time to complete and gather information for, while papers are a longer process!
Step 2: Figure out when you have “free time” in your daily schedule.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all have a bit of free time in our daily schedules, this could be while standing in line for coffee, walking to class, or even right before bed, those are the few minutes you could be using to study and prepare for your final exams. Making flashcards to look over or practicing one problem in those few minutes could help you get those extra points you need. If you have a larger chunk of free time, this could be spent doing a hefty load of studying or writing, if needed. For example, on Tuesdays, I have an hour break between work and a class, so during the next 3 weeks, I will spend that time making flashcards for an exam.
Step 3: Soothing your anxiety
Crunch time is a very stressful and chaotic time for a lot of us, which can cause some anxiety surrounding school. This is totally normal and you are not alone! While studying is important, so is self care! Make sure to take little break for yourself, so there’s a somewhat equal balance between academics and social! This can be taking a 10 minute break during a long studying session to watch a video, check snapchat, or take a walk to the vending machine for some Oreos, whatever will give you some time to breathe!
Step 4: Getting through the actual final week.
The time has come, all your studying, preparation, and stress is presented in this moment. What’s my advice? REST! There’s nothing worse then getting to a final and being exhausted and unfocused! All your time spent studying and preparing goes out the window when you’re sleep deprived, so make sure you are getting enough sleep the night before a final. Cramming the night before isn’t helpful! It’s better to get that full nights sleep, wake up early before your final and study a little bit in the morning, when you’re alert and ready!
Step 5: Tying up the loose ends of the semester!
When your finals are over, you might have a few more things left to do! If you’re a resident student, you’re going need to close up your room properly! This is something your RA will go over with you, but pretty much you need to make sure that everything is unplugged, the windows are shut, and that shades are pulled down to the length they request. Another thing you might want to do, resident or commuter is use up all of your dining dollars! At the end of every semester your dining dollars that are unused are wiped away from your account. If you want to get the most out of you meal plan, use those dining dollars at any chartwells location or store on campus! Finally, make sure to say goodbye to your favorite professors, staff, and friends before the long break. Ya know, a month is a long time to not see your favorite First Year Experience Mentors!!
All in all, we hope your final exam experience is a decent one, filled with lots of new information and coffee breaks! And as always, if you need anything, don’t forget to stop by our office in Meier Hall 100A! Happy Studying!