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Winter is coming… and so are finals!
As November comes to a close, all across the university, students are starting to brace themselves for one of the most difficult periods of the semester: finals. Finals week (or weeks, for those of us who drew the short straw), can be difficult to get through. There is an overwhelming amount of stress on top of everything else you have going on in your life. However, it’s also the homestretch! Once finals are done, you can consume copious amounts of Christmas goodies, finally go and have your first ski or snowboard day of the season and/or like me, stay in your room for three days binge-watching Netflix (no judgement). In order to get to all those wonderful things, though, we have to conquer finals first. Here are a few tips to be able to make it through finals with your mental and physical well-being intact- and to come out triumphant on the other side.
1. Plan your time. Be smart about planning your study time. Space it out if you can between the days and weeks before your final. I can attest to the fact that doing this will help you retain the information so much better and it gives you time to ask questions and try to decipher the things you don’t understand.
2. Focus…then reward yourself! Instead of looking at your phone every two and a half minutes and having to read the same paragraph 62 times because you’re distracted, just focus! Before I study, I remove all distractions, focus on the task at hand and study properly for 20 minutes. This might not seem like a lot but 20 minutes of productive studying beats an hour of distracted studying! Then, I reward myself by checking my Facebook, taking a short walk or eating a cupcake! After that, I just repeat the process. Like I have, you will find that you actually remember everything that you read and you will thank yourself for those much needed breaks.
3. Sleep is for the studious! Plan your time so that you have time to get some zzz’s. Your brain actually memorizes material you’ve covered while you sleep, and helps you to be awake and alert the next day. After many a nights spent trying to memorize an entire textbook in one night and trying to finish off projects thinking sleep was the enemy, I realized there is actually no better ally. So, you may very well be better prepared for your test after a good night’s sleep than after an all-nighter spent cramming!
4. Don’t be a slob. It can be easy to let ourselves go during finals. All of the healthy eating and exercise habits we have worked so hard to foster tend go in the garbage along with all the wrappers from the candy we consume. Don’t let that happen this year! During your downtime (gotta have downtime), make sure to still get in some exercise, even if it’s just walking your dog or going to the gym for 30 minutes when you usually go for an hour. Remember to eat your fruits and vegetables and make time to pack healthy snacks so you don’t end up having to rely on vending machine food during those long days of studying. If you don’t have time for that or like me, are a scatterbrain, remember that the Stor is always loaded with healthy treats too ranging from gluten free cookies to fresh fruit and coconut water. Keep up those good habits that you’ve spent a whole semester creating, or else you’ll end up feeling crummy.
5. Find the best way to study for you. Do some experimenting in order to find which way of studying works best for you. Since I started trying different methods out and found my ideal way to study, I have never looked back. See if you get more out of studying on your own or with a group, on the quiet floors of TFDL or in Starbucks where background noise is provided. Do you like to bundle up, or does that make you sleepy? Do you need snacks, or do you eat when you take breaks instead? Whatever it may be, find what works for you and roll with it.
6. And remember, you got this! You’ve worked so hard during the semester, so like a famous fish once said, “just keep swimming”! Happy studying and good luck!
Daniela Galindo is a 3rd year business and international relations student. She is a Program and Events Assistant with the SU. In her free time she likes eating cold pizza and going on long walks with her dog. You can check her out on Instagram @danielagalindo15