Syd's Survival Guide to Finals Week
By Sydney Graves
Syd's Survival Guide
Welcome back to another edition of Syd's Survival Guide! This week's topic: Surviving Finals.
As if regular exams and papers weren't already stressful enough, finals week seems to take on an additional layer of unneeded stress to the end of an already killer semester.
In a typical semester, students would return after Thanksgiving and participate in dead days and down-time to cram for finals. This semester, it's a little different. Finals are online, which can be an added stress. For this semester, most of us are headed home for the holidays, which means a lack of access to internet, more distractions, and even less motivation to log on to the last few days of class.
In terms of the lack of internet access at home, the dorms are open and available throughout the course of finals, as are accommodations like the union and the library. If at home, several places offer free WiFi. Check with you local library for access to WiFi and printing capabilities. Small coffee shops or eating establishments have comfortable places to sit and study or to take exams.
Finals weeks also seems to test students' ability to study for long periods of time. As someone who gets testing anxiety, I have a few tips on the best ways to study for finals without losing your mind.
First up is to figure out your finals schedule. Check with the school-provided calendar for Finals Week and jot down when each exam takes place. Because of finals being online, you can also rely on your professors' syllabi, or they will most likely remind you of when your exam is.
Secondly, you need to figure out how you study best. Do you study best when it's quiet? Do you study best when there's background noise? Do you study best with partners? Do you study best at 3 a.m.? In order to be the most productive and efficient, you need to figure out what times work best for you. As an example, I work best with background noise around 7:00 in the morning. Your surroundings do help to set the mood for your study routine.
Everyone has different lengths they can go while studying. I typically go by the rule of for every one hour of study, take 15 minutes to stretch, go to the bathroom, get a snack and a drink, and socialize. This allows me to not feel the burnout of studying. This works for me, but it may not work for everyone. You have to figure out what works best for you.
My final, and probably one of my favorite hacks is sleep. With such a large mountain of stress and anxiety built up while preparing for finals, sleep is a great natural relaxer for your mind and bod . I know so many people that pull all-nighters the night before every exam, and it is not conducive, especially for finals week.
While you sleep, your brain is forming new pathways of the information learned. Not getting that sleep is ultimately detrimental to what you have just learned because you are not giving time for your brain to store information. Not only is skipping sleep detrimental short short term, it can also affect you long term by causing problems with blood pressure, heart disease, and immune problems.