How I Survived My First Finals Week

I'm a freshman, which obviously means this is my first college finals week! Having adjusted to college life pretty well, I'm prepared and motivated to do well on my finals. During my short time at college, I have found easy ways to study efficiently, while managing my time well. Here is how I survived my first college finals week: 

Quizlet is your friend.

I'm one of those learners who sucks at vocabulary. I find it tedious to write out paper flashcards and flip them back and forth, trying to retain information. One website that helps me a lot is Quizlet. It does take time to enter the info you want to study, but the payoff is the numerous ways you can study that info. You can stick to flashcards while saving paper at the same time, but my personal favorite is the "learn" option. Especially when studying for subjects like languages (or other courses that are vocabulary heavy), this tool helps you learn what words you need to know and how to spell them correctly. Another tool that is useful is the "test" option. It is quite literally a practice test, which you can choose to set up in the style of your choice. I always choose the multiple choice question option, as well as instant feedback which lets me know if I was correct or incorrect. Quizlet is a valuable studying tool should definitely take advantage of!

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Find a study space that works for you.

I always find it hard to study in my room. In my room back home and in my dorm, the comfort of my surroundings always distracts me from focusing. If you are like me, you have to leave your room in order to study. Luckily, there are many great spots on campus you can go to clear your head and get your work done! My personal favorite spot is the library. There are many great study spaces throughout the building, as well as Au Bon Pain in case you need a mid-studying pick-me-up. My favorite spots are on the second and third floor. There can be some noise on those floors, but the higher floor you go up, the more quiet it is. I am a frequent library visitor for whenever I need to write a paper, study for a test, or finish some homework.

If you live on campus, the lounges in the dorms can also be a nice study spot. This option could depend on your dorm and the people who use the lounge. I live in one of the towers, and on my floor nobody uses the lounge 24/7. Whenever I don't feel like making the trek to the library, I will go in the lounge and do my work. However, some people do use the lounge spaces as hangouts, so this isn't an option for everyone. Students also study in the dining halls around campus, but I wouldn't recommend that unless you can study with loud noises! The right study space for you can make all the difference.

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Don't be afraid to ask for help.

This tip doesn't just apply for finals - it goes for all of college in general. Don't be afraid to ask for help, whether it is emailing your professor, getting a tutor, or asking a friend for help. Just do it! Your future self will thank you. 

Manage your time and don't be afraid to take a break.

Everyone needs a break from studying to relax and re-group. Be sure you are managing your time well, making time to study efficiently, and making time to take a break. A break can be anything from unplugging yourself from your laptop and going to grab a snack to watching an episode or two of your favorite TV show. But be cautious: don't get too carried away and forget to get back to work! My favorite ways to take a break from studying are watching either YouTube or Netflix, or simply taking a nap! Another trick is rewarding yourself for getting work done. For example, for every two hours of studying, you can watch an episode of TV show. Using motivation can be beneficial, as long as you don't rush to get your work done!

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Remember to keep a healthy lifestyle.

Studying for finals doesn't mean locking yourself in your room with junk food and sitting for hours at a time. Remember to eat healthy, get enough rest, and drink lots of water. You have to remember to take care of yourself. Don't turn to substances to "help" you study. If you find yourself down this hole, ask for help! There are plenty of resources on campus to help you get back on your feet. One thing that helps me de-compress after a long day of studying is going to the gym. I will admit that I don't go as often as I could, but when I do go it is worth it. Any type of physical activity, such as running or playing a sport, can help you relieve some stress and tension.

Take advantage of finals week activities.

There are many fun activities held throughout campus before and during finals week! Some include therapy dogs (my personal favorite), game nights in the Student Center game room, yoga classes, making stuffed animals, free food, and movie nights! Take advantage of these fun events to relieve some stress. Why would you pass up an opportunity to pet adorable dogs and get free food? 

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These tips and advice may not work for everyone, but either way, I hope you all do well on your finals! Happy studying!

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