by SARA MARSHALL//Editor-in-Chief
[Editor’s Note: This is a quick guide, courtesy of the editor-in-chief, on how to best survive finals week to avoid the inevitable burnout. Some advice was compiled from various web sources and unfortunate personal experiences. This article is entirely subjective, so not all suggestions will work for everyone. Good luck on your exams!]
Finals Week is quite arguably the hardest week college students have during the semester. Knowing how to properly prepare for your finals is the key to avoiding stress and ensuring you get a good grade.
So if you’re currently procrastinating, assuming the worst, or going crazy with dread, try these tips to guarantee you go home for winter break with a sense of relief and happiness.
Disconnect! Turn off your cell phone, social media, television, etc…, Anything that will pull your attention away from studying should be put away and out of sight. Facebook can wait!
Find a quiet place! Studying in the Library creates a separation between your personal life and your school life. Libraries can help you focus on your studying since they are quiet and it is very unlikely you will be interrupted while studying. Prior to and during Finals Week, the South Plains College Library will have extended hours.
Eat well! It’s college. Ramen and Doritos are a dietary staple. But you need actual food in order to fuel your brain, especially if you are sleeping less than usual. I’m not saying go all out and make a five-course meal, but you should definitely eat some fruits and vegetables, maybe a yogurt and some granola. Any type of food high in antioxidants, protein or fiber can contribute to a healthy meal or snack.
Sleep! If there’s any piece of advice you should follow above all others, it’s this one. Do not stay up all night studying. Even though you may think it’s a good idea, I can assure you, it’s not. Not even all the caffeine in the world can replace a good night’s sleep. We need at least seven to eight hours of sleep to properly function and to ensure your immune system is up to par. Now, if there is an inevitable all-nighter because you forgot to study, at least find some time to nap.
Don’t cram! If you study the night before a test, you could lose valuable information and make your studying virtually useless. It is recommended that you study in 20 to 50-minute increments with five to 10-minute breaks in between. This type of studying ensures you retain the most information by the time your final comes around.
Make the most of your breaks! Don’t immediately go for social media during your breaks. Social media can turn into a time suck and you risk breaking your concentration and ruining your study schedule. Instead, try having a power snack, getting in a quick round of cardio [as one great blonde once said, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.”], or even cuddling with a puppy, which has been scientifically proven to lower stress levels significantly.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Professors have office hours set up for a reason, so don’t be afraid of seeking some help. Utilize these times to go and ask any questions you have about the final, materials you don’t quite understand or even further study tips for their specific exam.
Finals Week may seem impossible and even scary at times, but it doesn’t have to be. Hopefully, you find some of these tips will work for you and are able to combat your worries, stay on task, eat well and maybe even get some sleep. Finals will be over before you know it, and you’ll be on your way to a wonderful winter break.