It's finals week here at Emerson, and, well, pretty much everywhere else. My amazing staff has put together a list of tips on how to de-stress and study. Here's to finals week -- the semester's almost over!
Oh, and as for my advice? Lots of Arrested Development, lots of snacks, lots of fun weekends filled with friends, and, lastly, CONFIDENCE -- in everything you do, because you will get it all done graciously. No stress, collegiettes!
Lorena Mora, Campus Correspondent -- Emerson College
"The best thing to do is to start early. Do as much planning and preparation before the last two weeks of school. Finals are never as bad as they seem it just gets hard to manage the increased work load all at the same time. Also, coffee or however you get your caffeine never hurts."
"For finals and tests, review your notes to find the basics. Professors are really looking for what you know, not what you don't know. Try to weed out all the frills in your notebooks and find out what's important. For presentations, don't wait til the last minute. Get your ideas together and visual aid if you need one, then practice, practice, practice. Ask some of your friends if you can present in front of them so you can get some honest critiques before you have to go up in front of your class!"
"I'm probably the biggest procrastinator ever, so I would suggest studying and preparing a little bit for a few days in advance. I always find myself cramming and staying up too late the night before, which is completely unnecessary if you can distribute studying time."
"LISTS LISTS LISTS! I make to-do lists at the beginning of every week. It helps me to see what I absolutely have to get done and what can wait. Plus it's a huge relief to cross things off of a list! It makes you feel like you're actually getting work done. Getting work done in advance when finals come around is always a huge life savor for me too."
"I'm a firm believer in study guides and flash cards. Writing things out really helps me. I'm more of a visual learner, so as long as I have a physical outline to reflect on, I tend to feel more confident going into an assignment."
"I'll tell you something one of my high school teachers, Mr. Frost, once told me about studying for finals: It's all about the Fifteen Minute Method. Frost said that there was some paper (that I've never bothered to look up, sue me) about how the ideal method of studying was to focus intently on your work for two hours straight, and then take a two hour long break. Obviously, this is not a terribly time-efficient system, so Mr. Frost proposed a miniature version that I will stand by until my dying day: switch between studying and down time in fifteen minute increments. Sounds crazy, I know, but if you're disciplined, it totally works. Like, during your fifteen work minutes, you cannot do ANYTHING but work. No distractions, no conversations, nothing but you and whatever it is your studying. And in those fifteen minutes of down time, you shouldn't even give your work a second thought. Watch TV, listen to music, write a story, whatever. Just make sure you completely separate work and play. I started studying twenty to thirty lengthy Latin poetry and prose translations the night before my senior foreign language final, and I came out of that sucker with an A and a whole lot less stress. I think it has something to do with the fact that if you focus so intently on work for a prolonged period of time, you'll just end up freaking out and worrying more than actually studying. Whatever the reason, this method works. So consider giving it a shot! Mr. Frost will be thrilled to hear he's helping more students on their quest to academic success."
"Definitely get out of your room and away from distractions. I find that going to a study room or a library helps me focus more on my school work. I get away from my comfy bed and my tv."
"Leave your dorm! You need to establish different atmospheres for the place you study and the place you hang out. Go to the library, a study room, or a café – anywhere but your room. While sitting on your comfy bed, eating snacks, and gossiping with your roommate is fun, it leaves little time for studying."
"Start preparing as soon as possible. Have an organized list of what is due when and definitely take advantage of the quiet study room in PROW. I get so much work done there because it is comfortable but also an environment that helps me stay focused, as opposed to my room where I can get distracted by things like my bed."
"http://8tracks.com/. They have playlists for studying, for essay writing. The music really helps me focus. Kind of..."
"In terms of when I start prepping or studying for something, it all depends on what subject it is. But when I finally do get cracking, I find I work best when I'm alone in the library or PRow's quiet study room. I love living with my friends, but when it comes to being productive in my suite, I'm more likely to stay up all night talking to them."