I always have to be careful with how-to posts – I’m a big believer in the “whatever works best for you” mentality and I never want to come off as THE ONLY WAY TO DO SOMETHING. I’m definitely my own learner, so if something works better for you…all power to you! That being said, I’m heading into finals week here and have a few tips in case there’s any other students that are worried.
How Do I College Ed. 4 – Finals Week
write EVERYTHING down.
This is a big one for me. I always have to have one afternoon where I analyze ALL the stuff I need to do, write it all out, and then have a mental breakdown. No, really. It’s cathartic for me. I used to make a master list, but now I’m in favor of color coded post-its. I usually stick them on a door or mirror so I see them everyday – reminded of how close I am to the semester being over!!! (Also, the BEST feeling is ripping one down when you tackled something.)
So I’m basically a kindergardener. I need a prize in order to get even the smallest tasks done. (Fun fact: writing the blog post is my reward for finishing my PolyComm research paper.) When you’re busy writing all your terrible things down, also take the time to think of a few fun things to do in between, either as breaks or straight up end-of-the-study-night rewards.
make sure you get space.
Really, for everyone’s sanity, do not become a maniac during finals week! The worst thing to deal with is a friend/roommate/annoying person behind you in class that is flipping out about finals. The easiest way to combat this is just to tell yourself that everything will get done, you just need time. Put enough Red Bulls into your system, and that time will magically appear (usually between 2am-7am). Last midterms, whenever I got so worked up about all my tests, I let myself go and take a walk around the Common, just to clear my head. Look at your list, take everything one thing at a time, and it’ll all get done. Promise.
study…no, really. study.
I’m awful at this. Have me write you a paper or do a presentation – yes, of course, endgame, I can do that THING. But the second it gets wishy washy and I just need to “know the material” and be able to answer “oh, you know, a standard few essay questions” I start panicking. I chalk it up to me being a tactile learner and there are few resources out there for us-type people. My best suggestions (though I could probably write a whole post on this): use some free flashcard website (some even have games you can play with your cards), rewrite all of your notes (kills the earth and takes forever, but works), or do things like crosswords or matching with them.
in the long run…who cares.
I always refer to this image whenever I get too stressed out by tests. It just reaches a point where, yes, it’s for a grade, and yes, that grade is important to your GPA, but it is one blip on the long radio transmission of You as a Person. Work hard and do what you can, but if you’re confronted with some insane test or your teacher is a psychopath or you just aren’t in the right mental capacity to do well…whatever. In that case, it’s not worth being upset over.