It is officially the most wonderful and the most stressful school year. Finals. Now if you’re somewhat crazy like I am, there is a light at end of this tunnel and that is new school supplies for the upcoming semester. With that being said, first comes finishing up this semester and tackling finals.
Now I want to start this post with a little back story; in high school I was always the kid who could look over their notes in the class period before a test and be just fine, then I got to college and while I managed to maintain my grades I realized it would take a lot more effort. I have heard from lots of other people in my classes, friends, and sisters, that they had a similar experience so whether you’re taking your first college finals or this is your last semester take a look at these tips and try them out to see if any thing can help you with your finals season.
1. Make a Space: For me this happens to be my apartment’s kitchen table. I make myself a cup of coffee, turn on some music and lay everything out in the order that I have to get it done. If your space happens to be a dead silent library or a bustling coffee shop its nice to have a sacred space that is devoted to studying.
2. Make a Plan: I personally like to take a blank printable calendar either for the next few weeks, or for the month as a whole and put due dates/test dates in red. Then I’ll make a list either on a google sheet or in a note book of when things are due and when tests are so I know what order to study in.
5. Make a Schedule: Do you study best in the morning, or at night, do you need to be around people, do you have to be alone? I always take these things into account, I also take into account what else is going on that week. The thing that stinks about finals is that the rest of the world doesn’t stop, I still have work, blogging, sorority, and somewhere time to breathe. That’s why I always plan out what times work best for me to study and stick to them.
4. Find a Buddy: Once you have everything planned out, its time to actually do it. Whether your buddy is a good playlist on Spotify, a room mate, or a friend I’ve always found that I’m most productive when I have someone to bounce ideas off of.
5. Write it Out: Personally one of the things that works best for me when studying is to re-write my notes or my reviews in a concise format and use that to study. If that means taking chapter notes, writing out lecture notes I’ve already taken, or doing problems and writing out how I did them I use these sheets later to study from.
6. Color Code Notes: You may notice that my notes are very colorful and that’s not on accident. I typically use the same system; blue is for headings, orange is for terms, green is for examples, and yellow is for important details.
7. Take Breaks: The best way to do this is to find your rhythm, do you like set increments of time to study and take a break (for example 20 mins studying and 5 mins of Twitter) or do you like to watch an episode of Greys Anatomy after every subject you complete? I tend to fall somewhere in between and catch up on social media after I’ve finished a project.
8. Have Snacks: This can be another great motivator, I typically don’t allow myself to have another cup of coffee until I’m halfway through whatever I’m working on. So for me, coffee is a must, one reason I tend to study at home is because I have a generous supply readily available. I also like something sweet and salty to crunch on.
9. Sleep: It might sound counter productive but if you don’t get a good night of sleep before exams your brain will be much less equipped to take on the exam the next day.
10. Celebrate: Its quiet convenient that finals will be ending just as the season of holiday cheer is beginning. I typically treat myself to conquering finals by getting my nails done or simply taking a nice bubble bath and spending a stress free night having a Netflix marathon.