Finals 101: How to Survive until Holiday Break

By: Shayna Sullivan ’22

We all know that finals can be a struggle, especially five finals all in one week. It can be exceptionally stressful during this time of the year. These are some tips and tricks to get yourself through finals week in one piece. Use them wisely, and take it from people who have been there before – it’s one week, not the end of the world! 

  • Take time for yourself 
    • It can be so easy to lose yourself in the thought of passing or failing your finals. It is best to always try to remember that even though finals are very important, you still need to take care of your mental health. Everyone has been there before, stressed, upset, feeling like you’re in a black hole of assignments, tests and studying. Your mental health is just as important as those tests, so do your self care tasks, whatever they are, even if it is just 1 hour out of the day. 
  • Remember to breathe 
    • Panicking will not get you anywhere, and although things like anxiety don’t tend to understand that “it’s just one test,” trying to breathe can reduce the likelihood of a panic attack dramatically. when you feel yourself thinking that it is all too much, try to calm yourself down by taking deep breaths. Even though this is not an exact way to avoid a test caused anxiety attack, it may help just a little. 
  • Take multiple study breaks 
    • One of the biggest mistakes you can make is studying too much. This may sound like it is not a real possibility, but for some people it can be. Too much studying can burn you out very quickly, and it can cause you to do worse on a test than you would have in the first place. Now this isn’t to say that not studying at all will help you pass a test, just that it is healthy to take breaks in between study sessions
  • Sleep 
    • If you do not get enough sleep, it can seriously affect your performance on your finals. Sleep is so important as it is a way for our brains to rest and move the information you have been studying to move to your long term memory. 
  • Quizlet 
    • Quizlet is something that i’m sure any college student would swear by. This can be used for almost any subject, and is a very useful resource for people who just don’t quite know how to study on their own yet. It is so simple, but it is the key to passing your classes. Quizlet has many features that can help prepare you for tests such as Learn mode, write mode, flash cards, and even matching games to help you remember the information. This website is a lifesaver, and they even have an app so you can study on the go! These are words to live by: make a quizlet account and start studying! 
  • Utilize the resources available 
    • There are so many things available on campus that can help you to ace your finals. The classrooms are open during this time, and it can help to study in the same room that you learned the material in. Also, the library has extended hours during finals week for last minute all night cram sessions. One of the best resources Assumption has to offer us the academic support center with tutors in almost every subject available 8:30am to 10 pm Monday through Thursday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Friday’s and 6pm-10pm on Sundays. 
  • Form study groups 
    • This will only work for some people, but talking things out with a group is one of the best ways to remember information. Saying things out loud helps you to memorize what you are studying much better. Also, if you are able to explain a topic to another person, chances are you will be able to explain it on a test. Study groups also allow for sharing of the wealth, in this case, the wealth is information. It is a great chance to learn new information that you may have missed in your notes. 
  • Color code notes 
    • This can keep reading interesting and reduce how many times you zone out while reading your notes for a class. Color coding also makes it easier to find information in pages and pages of notes which can reduce the amount of time needed for studying. 
  • Set a certain amount of time for each class (plan ahead) 
    • The best way to beat the dreaded finals week is to plan for it. Some professors give test, some give essays, some give projects. Figure out what you have to do and start early. Plan out how much time you are going to take up for each subject per day. This will keep you focused and motivated throughout long study sessions. Changing topics will also keep you from becoming bored with one subject. 
  • Reward yourself
    • Finally, one of the most important finals week hack: rewarding yourself for making it though. Studying can take a toll on anyone no matter how good you are at managing time or how smart you are. Finals week can cause stress in even the most mentally healthy person out there. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed, but when it is over, reward yourself for a job well done. You made it through a semester, whether it be your first one here or one of your last, that is an accomplishment. Eat some ice cream, watch some TV, do whatever you want, just recognize that you did accomplish something, and that you gave it your all. Be proud of yourself no matter what the outcome is. Take the grace period between finals week and when final grades are released to enjoy yourself without the worry of another test.

Finals week is stressful, but it is also doable! Keep some of these tips in mind and you’re sure to make it through all of the work. Good luck!

**Valley Girl does not own any images featured in this post

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