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What 5 Alumni Wish They Would Have Done for Finals Week

College students like me are juggling a plethora of assignments, projects, exam studying, and extra-curriculars. With all these expectations, no wonder we don’t sleep (check out further coverage in my video package).

This will be my fourth finals week, and somehow, s?*t hits the fan. All at once, my personal life, physical and mental health, and time and stress management turn to shambles. Every. Single. Time. How have I not learned my lesson by now?!

That being said, hindsight is 20/20. I reached out to Loyola alumni in order to learn what they wish they would have done to achieve a more successful, stress-free finals week.

Here is what they said: 

“I would say that my professors were always my best resource, and not to be afraid to go to their office hours for help. If they provide you with practice exams, it is definitely beneficial to work through them. If they have a review session, go. Not only are they your best insight as to the actual content of the exam, but you may be able to help clarify for *them* specific content areas that you and your classmates are struggling with.” —Aly Badalamenti, Class of 2017

“I wish I would have kept my school work organized all year so when it came time to study for finals my materials were already compiled and ready for review. I wish I had made a study plan/schedule instead of cramming a bunch of random information in for hours at a time. It’s important to remind yourself studying for finals is a totally doable task. It can get overwhelming and feel like there’s no way you can do well. Attitude is important! I would also pick an album I loved and play that over and over again when I studied- it is soothing, but also familiar so it is not distracting.” – Alix Schillaci, Class of 2016.

“My advice for finals is to stick with your routine. If you’ve studied in coffee shops all semester, stick with that. Don’t set up shop at the library just because everyone else does, especially if something else already works for you. Also, take the time to create a study schedule. Figure out what you need to review for each class and map it out backward from the exam date. When it comes time to study, you know exactly what you have to do each day!” – Suzie Vyletel, Class of 2016

“I would say, even though it’s lame, get sleep. For me there was a very clear point in my studying where I could tell I was so tired I was no longer absorbing any material. At that point, instead of chugging Red Bull or coffee and cramming, I’d cut my losses and go to bed. And then for my tests I knew what I knew, and I was at least rested and could focus well on the test. Trying to quickly write detailed essays while on 3 hours of sleep sounded horrible. Plus there’s research saying that getting sleep right after studying helps solidify the knowledge! And I found that always worked well for me.” — Jaime Raglow, Class of 2015

Prepare yourself and then don’t sweat it, the night before an exam you know everything you’re going to know, don’t stay up all night cramming, instead take care of yourself and get some rest.” — Melissa Phillips, Class of 2013.  

Not all alumni were good students, but there advice is invaluable considering they have gone through finals weeks more times than any of us! I hope this helped, and good luck on finals!


Annie Kate Raglow is a fourth-year honors student at Loyola University Chicago. She is a journalism major with a music minor, and she enjoys her role as contributor for the LUC chapter of Her Campus. Annie was Campus Correspondent when the chapter re-launched at LUC. She has a passion for traveling and meeting new people, as well as advocating for social issues. Career goals (as of right now) include opportunities in investigative or documentary journalism. Music is a huge part of Annie's life, and one of her favorite pastimes is performing at local Chicago "open mic" nights. She also loves finding independent coffee shops! Annie is ambitious in pursuit of her journalism and music skills, and loves everything that Her Campus has to offer.
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