With finals just two weeks away, teachers are starting to pass out study guides, talk about the test, and if you could qualify for an alternative date to take it. The stress is piling on and having the holiday season just around the corner surely doesn’t help. While some are fond of the finals before break, others are dreading pulling themselves together to assure their good grade in certain classes. No matter where you are on that spectrum, I’m here to give you the best organizational tips and recommendations for finalizing your grades in the next couple of weeks. (No pun intended!)
Color code all of your notes/homework/tests/etc. Go out to Target and get the $1 pack of colorful binder clips. Organize by units within a class and label that class with one color. For example: Science = green, English = pink, Math = black… etc.
Write down your finals schedule. (There is a copy of the schedule at bottom of the article.) This process will help you recognize where you should put your focus the most. Maybe the class you struggle in is at the end of the week, but you now know you should study for it earlier.
Clean your study place. Maybe it’s your desk in your bedroom, but if you’re like me, I have clothing and books piled up in a corner. Before finals start, clean your study place for a stress-free and distraction-free environment. In addition, for some, cleaning can be a great pre-finals de-stresser.
Put your phone in another room! We’re addicted to our phones, it’s a fact. One funny video sent from your friend can mean a never ending scroll through Instagram. Turn your phone on Do Not Disturb or put it on silent and in another room. Set a 30 minute timer for when you can get up and go look at it for a brain break. Studies shows that the best way to study is in 30-50 minute increments with a 10 minute break in between to retain information.
Monitor your study session with friends. Make sure if you are going to the library or Starbucks to study with classmates, have a time limit. Make sure you have a time limit and don’t get carried away with gossip. A great recommendation would be to ask your TA if they have an extra hour to go over material with you.
Space out your work. The worst thing to ever do, which we all have done, is to cram all your studying the night before the big test. Make sure you are aware of time and what classes you need a little extra help with and which classes you can push to the side because you understand the topics. Cramming everything to the last minute will make you even more stressed and confused.
Week of Finals:
Get Sleep! Sleep is the most important aspect of clear skin, staying healthy, resetting your body, and NOT STRESSING. Make sure you get 7-9 hours every night during finals week to ensure you don’t fall asleep during the test. Trust me, you will thank me. Sleep is the best!
Choose tea over coffee. Sure we all need that extra boost of caffeine to help us out, but choosing tea over coffee is better for you. It has more natural caffeine which will help you stay up but also lower your heart rate and will allow you to go to bed even if drunk late at night. I recommend chamomile tea that has all natural caffeine, soothing remedies, and tastes great!
Be mindful. Breathe. Being mindful is one of the best ways to calm down, destress, and feel confident! It is also a popular topic in health classes. Look up mindful YouTube videos to listen and breathe to find that extra strength. (Here’s one of my favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p_yaNFSYao)
Whether you are a freshman freaking out or a senior who just has to get through this round of finals, keep in mind that you will succeed no matter what! Keep studying! After finals you will able to relax and enjoy break!