Thursday, December 10: the day that we’ve all been dreading. This day marks the beginning of finals week, a 5-day period that will solidify everything that we, students, have worked for this entire semester. Talk about pressure, huh?
Now, I know that I’m not painting finals week in the most favorable light but have no fear – it is possible to survive finals week. However, to do so, it is vital to have the right materials for success!
So take it from me, a graduating senior whose successfully battled the enemy that is finals week seven times – here are a few things to consider when trying to survive (and pass):
Location, location, LOCATION!
You DO have to study – there’s no getting around that. But not being in the right study atmosphere can cause you to be distracted and unproductive. So, what must one do? Find a place that keeps you focused, yet comfortable.
Most people hear the word ‘focus’ and think that that automatically means going to Cook Library. However, during finals week, the library is PACKED with people and not always the most silent place on campus. Similarly, your dorm room may be the most comfortable place on campus for you, but you also may have the greatest amount of distractions. Work to find the balance between the two and you’re sure to do swell!
Keep your friends close?
PSA: “Group studying” is not a thing. No one gets work done – it’s a proven fact. Spending time with friends is important…just not always while studying. I’m not saying allow yourself to become isolated, but make sure to draw a line between social time and study time.
It’s also super important to wear clothes you would feel comfortable staying in for a long period of time. The more comfortable you are while studying, the more content you will be with spending a lengthy amount of time with those textbooks.
“WHERE’S THE PIZZA?!”
You NEED to have study snacks! Doesn’t matter what you choose, but make sure that it’s something somewhat filling. While studying, having these resources in reaching-distance will keep you from interrupting that study session of yours to go stand in line at a dining hall – that’s 1-2 hours that you’d lose from your test prep time.
Along with food, I highly recommend investing in coffee or soda (something that keeps you from nodding off during those tiresome hours). Trust me.
“When that hotline bling…”
SILENCE YOUR CELL PHONES! Our generation is programmed to lose focus the second our phones light up – a text message, a tweet, a phone call…our phones are massive distractions! That said, it’s best to set it to the side until you’ve knocked out some assignments.
Breaks are important!
Yes, you should study. Yes, you should concentrate. BUT taking breaks are also just as necessary. Getting up to stretch, walk around for a bit, or watch an episode of your favorite show has been proven to improve test scores. Doing a 10-hour binge of course material without any breaks is SO not the move.
Another way to stay focused is by having the PERFECT playlist. Now, maybe not with tracks from Fetty Wap or Silento, but rather tracks that are slower and softer. Music can cancel out any sounds of chatter that could deter you from your study flow.
When people come to college, they assume that they’ll have to pull all-nighters in order to pass their courses, but that is not true. I’m a senior and I’ve never had to stay up all night to finish an assignment. Not getting enough sleep, in my view, is MORE dangerous than not studying at all – sleep helps you form coherent thought and remember information. Without it, you might as well just take the “L” now.
But keep CALM and good luck, Towson! You’re gonna do GREAT!