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It's the Final(s) Countdown!

It's the Final(s) Countdown!

By Contributor

Finals week is almost here—good thing Courtney Guth is here with some tips! —Sparkitors

Thanksgiving’s gone and Santa is on his way, but before the celebrations can begin, there are just a few more things left in the way. And by "a few more things," I mean several exams, lengthy papers, poetry packets, projects, and more. It’s enough to make even the most organized student stress and call home to mom, crying a river of tears while lamenting, “I just can’t do this anymore!”

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be the most stressful time of year for college students. Thanksgiving break gives us a small taste of what’s to come during our long break in between the fall and spring semesters, but as soon as the food coma subsides, reality sets back in. While we were all happily watching the parade on television, explaining to Auntie Anne what we plan to do with our lives, or waking up at the crack of dawn for the madness that is Black Friday shopping, we probably should have been reading our Shakespeare plays or studying for forthcoming exams, but we didn’t, and now the madness begins.

Some like to argue that procrastination is an art form that takes skill. I’ve heard some students come up with brilliant reasons for procrastinating. My personal favorite is, “With wisdom comes knowledge, so if I wait longer to do the assignment, I am older, and therefore I am wiser!” As flawless as that logic sounds, the best thing students can do during these last few weeks is face the assignments head on.

Plan ahead: Overlapping due dates and last-minute syllabus changes drive students crazy. When you’re trying to balance a large load of credits, it can become rather difficult to stay on top of everything. The best solution is to write everything down. Make a list of important due dates and final exam schedules, and you’ll be able to plan ahead with no problem. Bonus: it’s so satisfying to cross everything off upon completion.

Break everything down: Don’t be the kid who waited until one a.m. to start the ten-page paper due tomorrow at 9 a.m. It’s impossible, and it will only cause more stress. Instead of trying to do everything at once, break big tasks into smaller ones. For example, if you have a paper, dedicate a few days to researching. Then, spend another few days to organizing and outlining everything you have. When it comes time to actually write the paper, you’ll already have everything you need, and you’ll avoid any last-minute scrambles.

Reward yourself: Positive reinforcement goes a long way when it comes to staying sane. When you set goals, make sure you keep rewarding yourself when you accomplish them. The rewards should be small, and appropriate to your task. Let’s say there’s a big exam coming up. Perhaps for every two hours you spend studying, you reward yourself with a half hour episode of your favorite tv show, or some time with friends.

Relax: Take a deep breath and remember that it will all be over soon. This is just one small section of your college career, and you can easily get through it with the right attitude. Don’t spend all night cramming for an exam; make sure you find some down time to relax and sleep. You’ll get through it all with with ease!

How's your studying going?

Related post: Finals Week: Do or Die

Topics: Life, College Advisor
Tags: finals, studying, exams, college life, the daily trials of an english major, finals week

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