It’s that time. As Thanksgiving break comes to a close, we are only a few short weeks away from finals. During finals week, Pitt comes to a standstill. Students swarm to Hillman Library, even if it’s the first time they are stepping foot in the building all semester, study guides are filled out and all-nighters commence. Unfortunately, one kink in the typical plan this year is that Hillman is undergoing renovations to the first and second floors. This has cut down on available space for students to study and has led to a larger amount of congestion and student overflow. Even during midterms, students noticed this issue and were forced to find some new places to study. As finals creep up, it’s important that all students prepare for the workload and the stress of it all. Here are a few ways to combat some of those unexpected hiccups during finals week and keep yourself motivated!
- Find a new study space
The best thing you can do at Pitt during finals is to find your own study space. This can be a small table in the corner of Alumni Hall that people don’t know about or even an office of the conference room that you choose to book through facilities or the library website. Finding a study space that is peaceful and isolated is the best way to maintain focus. That’s not to say that bringing along an equally focused friend for moral support isn’t a good idea too! Gather a group of people you know will stay on task, with the exception of essential timed-out breaks, to keep you company during a long day of studying! UCAS states that research shows that study environments do matter, so keep this in mind when looking to be productive in the coming weeks!
- make a weekly calendar
In the weeks leading up to the final exams, it can be hard to keep track of all of your schedules. Writing things down can help you organize your days and also create a forecast of the days ahead. This method can also be used as a motivational tool. After every day you devote yourself to studying, you can cross that day off your calendar. Although this is a small thing, it really helps you visualize the end goal and shows you that there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Use the resources given by your professors
Study guides, term lists and Powerpoints are just a few of the resources that professors can provide to you over the course of the term. Some professors will even give back old quizzes for you to use in your studying efforts. Don’t feel like you need to spend the extra time compiling all of the themes for each course when your professor has already provided them for you. Work smarter, not harder and make sure you take the time to look over your Canvas pages: you never know what you may find hiding among the modules.
- Take Care of yourself and do your best!
Above all, remember to take care of yourself. While it is easy to assume that all nighters come with the territory of finals week, it is also super important to get the appropriate amount of rest. Be sure to take care of yourself after a long day of studying. This can look different for everyone. For some it may be a well-deserved mid day nap, for others it may be a hot chocolate and a movie to close out the night. In whatever way you wind down, make sure that you set some time aside for it this finals season. And at the end of the day, just give the exam your best shot!
Overall, finals are just one week in the grand scheme of things. While the stress can sometimes feel soul-sucking, just power through and remember that you will come out of the other side! Good luck Panthers!