By Torch Editorial Staff
The most awful time of the year is here. College students will type incessantly at their computers until they reach the coveted word or page count. They will stay up all night studying for final exams with large portions of their grades until they can finally relax and go home for winter break.
Finals week will arrive soon and there’s no way to avoid it. Instead of suffering in defeat, we can face the challenge head on.
Snuggles are at an elbow’s reach. Hugs from professors are always welcome, especially without warning. If you have the desire to cry, by all means let it out. Express your inner feelings. Paint your face to show your emotions each day, that way the professor will know not to throw that pop quiz your way when he sees your face colored blue in anguish.
More seriously, it’s important to realize that while finals are essential to our academic success, they do not define our self worth. You are smart. You are kind. You are important.
Studying for finals is of course very stressful, but here is some helpful advice on how to survive the week:
Do not wait until last minute to study for your finals. Due tomorrow, doesn’t always mean do tomorrow. Getting ahead in the game will beat the stress. Cramming last minute for a test does not help you retain information.
Instead, consider doing your studying in one or two hour sessions. Then take a break for an hour or two, and then resume studying. It’s also helpful to study as if you were explaining it to someone. Take the material in small chunks and go over it slowly so you can truly comprehend the information, instead of just trying to memorize everything. It also helps to rewrite or highlight the notes you have taken throughout the semester and condense them down. This way you reread everything again and have a better study guide for future reference when needed.
Rewarding yourself with frequent breaks will help you stay motivated to keep studying. Let’s face it – while cramming an essay in, taking a food break helps stretch your legs and improve your mental quality.
Think of something you’ll do when finals are finally over to motivate you to finish your work. Maybe you will go out to see a movie with friends, go to a nice dinner, or even binge watch “Gilmore Girls” or “Stranger Things” on Netflix (again) while crying into a tub of ice cream. Whatever it is, it is surely a lot better than writing five research papers, cramming for five exams, and finishing up end of the semester projects. We are almost at the finish line. Let’s sprint across it into break and be ready to come back for an even better Spring semester!
Don’t try to take everything on all at once. It can seem daunting to have to study for a bunch of tests and write a bunch of papers, but it’s much easier to take your assignments on one at a time. Try making a to-do list with all the things you have left to do and cross them off as you finish them. That way, you’ll be able to keep track of what you’ve gotten done, and it’ll be satisfying to cross off the things you’ve finished.
Asking for help if you need it is also beneficial. If you’re feeling really stressed out about your tests and papers, consider making a trip to the counseling center. Reaching out to your professors for help with assignments is always a good idea too since it’s their job to help you. Professors often have a lot of good study tips and support for taking the tests and writing papers. The tutors in the writing center also can offer support and help for your writing. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, especially in stressful times.