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5 Ways to Stay on Top of Finals

We’re already approaching week ten, Halloween’s over, winter is coming. Once again we’re caught asking ourselves, “Where did fall quarter go?” I hate to say it, but it’s that time of year-the end of the quarter is rapidly approaching, and it’s bringing finals with it. 
Here are a few of my tips for staying on top of your game during this stressful time:
1. Organize. This is easier for some than others, but it’s essential. Write out when and where each of your finals are. Review your syllabi for upcoming tests, projects, papers, and presentations. With the end of the quarter comes disorganization. Write out all of your assignments and their due dates so you know what to expect. Even if you don’t have a fancy planner, a piece of notebook paper will do. Visually seeing when assignments are due and when you have finals will keep you on top.
2. Study Now. This is one of the hardest things. Finding the motivation to study for that final the Monday before Thanksgiving just doesn’t seem like a priority when you have five other assignments due this week. I get that, but studying for even just fifteen minutes every day will pay off. I dedicated myself to this when I got a C on my Macroeconomics midterm. I started studying a little bit every day three weeks before the final, and I ended up getting an A. It was so rewarding to see that work pay off. It may not feel like you’re doing much, but that consistent review will help in the end.
3. Sleep. Adequate sleep is essentially for studying. Sleeping helps you retain the information you learned, and sleeping keeps you sharp and energized. When you start feeling drowsy, it’s time to close the books. You won’t be able to properly study if you can’t even keep your eyes open, so listen to your body, when you start yawning it’s time for bed. Getting a proper amount of sleep will keep you healthy during this stressful time. 
4. Eat right and drink water. Taking care of yourself during stressful times is so important, and one of the easiest way is by eating a balanced diet and drink lots of water. Get a reusable water bottle, and try to drink 2-3 bottles worth of water every day. If this becomes too boring, add some lemon slices, cucumber slices, or fresh fruits for an added flavor. I always add lemon to water because it keeps my water interesting, and lemon detoxifies your body. Along with water, eat a balanced diet. This may also not seem like a priority, but it will be much easier to focus on school work when you don’t have a stomach ache. Eat your fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and try to keep carbs to a minimum. Of course allow yourself a treat after you get all your flash cards right or once you finish that paper, but don’t overdo it.
5. Move. I personally have a hard time prioritizing exercise when I have a lot going on. If you can go for a walk, stretch your body, do a few yoga poses, or make it to a 45 minute group fitness class, do it! Moving will keep your blood flowing and allow you a healthy break from the books. A 15 minute walk along Lake Michigan will give you fresh air and a boost of energy to get you back on track to studying. I know it’s hard to go to Cycle 45 when your paper is due at midnight, but if you have writer’s block, this could be the thing to kick that. 
Get organized, study early and often, eat right and move. You’ll feel much better when you make your health a priority, and you’ll have the energy to study well. Above all remember, these are just finals, so stay realistic, level headed, and confident-everything will work out. 
Just think-you won’t have to stress about finals before Christmas like all of your friends on the semester system! Go DePaul!
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