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Five Ways to Get a Head Start on Finals Season

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Finals are usually the most stressful time of the year for college students. With finals coming, it’s beneficial to get a head start and save yourself some stress. Here are some steps to follow if you want to make the most of this finals season. 

Start studying now.

The first and most important tip on this list is to start studying as soon as possible. One major contributor to finals stress is under-preparation. Finals become much more bearable when you understand the material and don’t have to worry about whether or not you gave the correct answers. The more time you give yourself to prepare, the better. The best way to do this is to plan for each final and schedule times throughout your weeks to study for each, devoting more attention to specific subjects as needed. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Although it’s hard to admit, many of us are still pretty confused by important class topics by the time finals roll around. The thing is, we don’t have to be. Professors and TAs are there to help, so be sure to reach out to them if you find any blind spots while you’re studying. Asking for help and clarification shouldn’t be embarrassing, no matter how late in the semester it is. In fact, advocating for yourself is just a way to give yourself the best chance, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Put all events and commitments in your calendar.

If you’re like me, finals give you tunnel vision. Sometimes so severely that you forget about other responsibilities, whether they’re academic or personal. To combat this, I try to put every single event in one calendar on my phone. This includes club meetings, family outings, and pretty much anything that can potentially become lost in the chaos. This way, you can remember all of the other events and commitments that persist during finals.

Factor in other assignments when planning for finals.

Similar to the last tip, be sure to make time to complete other assignments such as essays, last-minute quizzes, and extra credit opportunities. Of course, doing these assignments before finals start is ideal, but it’s not always possible. So, try to carve out time specifically dedicated to these assignments as well as finals prep. Just because finals are coming doesn’t mean your other projects have to suffer.

Take breaks when you need them.

No matter how important finals are, breaks are a crucial part of doing well on them. Don’t burn yourself out before you get to the hardest part! Whether this means taking it easy now and hitting the ground running later or incorporating downtime into your finals schedule, give yourself a chance to breathe.

Hopefully, these tips will help prepare you for finals and make them a little more manageable.

Samantha is an Editorial Assistant and Contributing Writer for CU Boulder's chapter of Her Campus. In her editorial position, she edits articles for clarity and provides guidance to other writers so they can improve their skills. As a contributing writer, she submits two articles per month, often writing in depth about social phenomena. Aside from Her Campus, Samantha is a senior at CU Boulder, double majoring in philosophy and sociology. She's currently working on an Honors Thesis in philosophy and hopes to go to law school after graduating in May 2024. She is involved in campus organizations like the Miramontes Arts and Sciences Program, the CU LA Program, and the Honors Program. This semester, she’s a mentor for learning assistants as an LA Mentor. Outside of a school setting, Samantha enjoys crocheting, reading, and writing. Overall, she’s very quiet, and her hobbies reflect that. She can usually be found with heaps of yarn or her nose buried in a book, silently enjoying her time alone. In addition to writing as a member of Her Campus, she enjoys writing short stories and pieces about her life. One of her biggest goals is to publish a book of stories and pieces that almost act as a memoir.