As the Fall semester of my Senior year is coming to a close, I am reminded of all of the last minute projects, essays and due dates around the corner. Even though the semester still has 3 more weeks left, I am bombarded with all of the stuff that I have to get done over Thanksgiving break and it can be overwhelming at times. Here, I have created a list of different ways to conquer finals week and any other College stressors you may be facing as the semester draws to an end.
- Create a study schedule!
First and foremost, creating a study schedule has been the KEY for successfully passing all of my assignments throughout the school year, especially around finals week. The moment you know gather enough information about when an essay, exam, or project is due, write it down. Typically, I write down each due date for each course and then plan out what days I am going to sit down and study. Creating a study schedule alleviates any cramming for last minute studying. This leads to the next step in conquering those pesky little due dates!
2. Strategize your time, wisely.
When you know when an assignment is due and the amount of time you have available to finish the task, you are then able to figure out the exact time and effort that is needed to be able to finish with a good standing with the class. After you create your study schedule, write down the time each day you know that you are able to work on each course. If you have a busy schedule outside of school, it is better to draw out an assignment and take on smaller work portions over a longer period of time. If a specific subject comes easy to you and the task isn’t taxing, do that first so when you have time available, you are able to surely focus on the harder and extraneous topics. When you have extra time to put your best efforts into your assignment, you will be relieved of inconvenient stressors along the way.
3. Acknowledge your weaknesses and focus on your strengths!
This step is especially important when the dreaded group project role around. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses so it is essential that you understand yours. There are some people who are better at writing essays then giving speeches or taking exams. (This is me. *Fun fact, for my first semester of college, I had 6 essays to write instead of taking final exams, plus I had all semester to write each one. I may or may not have had all A’s in comparison to the C’s I had previously made when it came down to taking actual exams and quizzes.) There are also those people who are all around better at making poster boards and intriguing powerpoint presentations. When you acknowledge your weaknesses, you are then able to focus on your strengths. Are you good at memorizing straight from the textbook, or are you better at recognition through the flow of writing things down on note cards? Understanding how you work best is essential to having a successful semester, especially when your grade is determined on how well you have prepped for the final exam.
4. Create a relaxing, but not distracting playlist
So now that you have all of your assignments, essays, exams, and projects aligned for the next couple of weeks, find something that helps you focus and tune everything else out. My favorite way of focusing on any task at hand is through music. When I am not blogging or cleaning the house, my go-to playlist for studying is instrumentals. If I am having to memorize definitions or equations, I simply cannot focus on my work if the music I am listening to has words in it, with the exception of coffeehouse-style music. I find it distracting and hard to focus on ab an assignment if the music is loud and busy. However, if lyrics do not bother you and you are able to still focus in on your studying and prep work, by all means, find the best music that gets you in the groove of things. My go-to playlist usually includes artists like Sleeping at Last, Bethel, and Explosions in the Sky.
5. Don’t forget to make time for yourself!
The worst thing that you could ever do in prepping for a big final or working endless hours on writing essays is not taking time for yourself in between. It important to take a break every once in a while. Stepping away from studying is okay when you have been at it for hours. I know personally if I am writing an essay, I find myself drifting and losing focus if I have not taken my eyes away from my textbooks. Taking a quick nap will actually help you regain focus and even help your eyes adjust from staring at a bright screen. My favorite way to wind down and relax is by silencing out all distraction and taking a long bath and decompressing with a bath bomb and essential oils. As weird as it may seem, this is where a lot of my quiet time with God happens. When I sit down and unwind, I can truly focus on God’s little encouragements. Through my prayer and quiet time, I am able to harness my God-given abilities and give up all the stress and anxieties that I may have built up from the overwhelming final exams and essays. So, try reading a book just for fun or go out and grab a coffee with a friend and leave those textbooks behind!
And don’t forget, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel!