Since this Top 10 is published in The Oracle’s final issue of the semester, it means finals week is breathing down all of our necks. Because of this grim fact, I’ve decided to write about some tips and tricks that I typically try to follow during finals week. Sure, I’m only a junior and I’m not an expert in being productive, but I really try to pretend I am. So, here’s my list of some tips to help you get all your work done and actually take care of yourself this finals week.
10. Start using your planner
This is basic stuff. If you want to complete all your tasks for the day, the first step is knowing what you have to do. For these next two weeks of pure hell I recommend planning essentially your entire life out. Even if you don’t cross off every assignment on your list for the day, you likely have completed one or two and that my friend, is success.
9. Set the mood
This tip really means to find what environment you’re most productive in. If you work best in complete silence, I recommend that weird third floor of the library on campus. Another good place to study is a coffee shop. If you’re like me, you probably don’t like to leave the house to study. That’s why I think your own bed is the best place to study! You can put on some sweats, make a good playlist and pick some lighting that’s relaxing, but not too relaxing so you don’t fall asleep.
8. Make a collaborative study guide
I’ve used this method for many of my finals and it hasn’t let me down once. You can use the email feature on Blackboard to email all student users and make a review sheet on a Google doc. From there, you can make a study group without even having to meet in person!
7. Take breaks
When you’re working really hard and feel like you have barely any time to do everything you need, you should remember that it’s okay to take breaks in between assignments. During these breaks I recommend catching up on sleep, going out to eat or going to the gym.
6. Use your friends to help you study
Having your friends “quiz” you based off your review sheet can really help you figure out what you already know and what you need to keep studying. Also, if you have an essay in place of a test, you can have your friends edit it or you can even read your paper out loud to them to catch mistakes you normally would have missed.
5. Utilize your professors’ office hours
I know most professors offer office hours during finals week so, if you’re finding yourself needing help, go visit your professor! From figuring out an angle for your final paper to needing to review a lesson — your professor will try to help you the best they can. Most times, your professor wants to see you do well as long as you communicate with them.
4. Don’t cram
If you cram for a test the night before, you’re probably not going to actually retain any information and you’re only going to lose a lot of sleep in the process. Instead, you should probably give yourself four to five days to really learn the information on your test.
3. Try to get sleep
If you really plan out your time and make sure you have enough time to do your assignments during the day, then you should be able to get to bed early without feeling guilty. This tip will really come in handy for my next tip.
2. Get up really early the day of your final to do last minute studying
I’m aware that this sounds psychotic but my mom has made me do this since I was a freshman in high school — and it really helps. I would usually wake up around 4 a.m. (I know) and go over my notes for a few hours, and for some reason, I would actually learn the information. My mom always said that in the morning your brain is “fresh” and that helps you remember, but she’s not a scientist and neither am I so I’ll leave it at that.
1. Don’t stress
I know this tip is probably really annoying to read but it’s true. The more you stress over your finals, the less likely it is for you to do well. This doesn’t mean to blow off your finals and not care at all — rather, it means to not value a grade over your well-being. If you stay relaxed and focused, you’ll end up doing great! So good luck this finals week and make sure to take care of yourself.