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

The dreaded last few weeks are just around the corner. All students rush to desks to either fall asleep or study. I find myself in dire need of new habits to survive the upcoming barrage of papers and assignments. In case other students are like me and struggle to keep their groove up so late in the semester. Here’s are some tips and ideas from students just like us who struggle at first and then succeed just like us. Fear not there has got to be something to assist us during this chaotic season.

In the halls of Plattsburgh there are all kinds of students and most attitude towards studying can be chalked up to confusion. The best way to keep the brain ready to go for a quiz, test or even ten page paper–depending on your major– is to keep working.  But that’s not always good for the well-being of the student. Breaks are necessary but I find myself struggling to get back into working like a diligent student after I have taken an hour or two break. That tells me that I need to work more efficiently before I burn out.  So like any good researcher I asked around and took data on what others do to finish the piles of end of the semester assignments. 

I spoke with a few peers on their habits and this is the summary of how it went!

The basics for the fear of a bad grade and procrastination sweep through the answers like wildfire. All of us are worried about doing well or getting a good enough grade to either pass or achieve our academic goals. Both fear and procrastination seem to be a driving cause of how task may get done but both are also a hindrance. 2 out of 3 students say that fear is what causes them prioritize or plan ahead; which can be very helpful but its side effect is stressing too much about future events or assignments. 

“I usually reward myself with Starbucks an incentive after completing a certain amount of work done. I also like working with others and getting advice from others on a task I’m working on,” said Ally, one of the aspiring SUNY students interviewed. 

She described her experience as driven to work with others and also to help others. Study groups and group work sessions are what helped her make learning fun. Ally depicts her school environment as lively and full of motions which seems to help her, but when she gets stumped Ally seeks out tutoring. 

“Yes, I get my math teacher to tutor me, and I love working with others. It helps my productivity,” said Ally. The tutoring program here at SUNY Plattsburgh is wonderful and full of fabulous tutors that are excited about the topic they teach. Ally makes great use of the Learning Center, it might also be a great place to study and pick up a few tips for finals. Let’s tuck that idea away for now! *wink wink*

Study groups may not be for everyone, Some students may prefer to work alone in order to challenge their brains regarding what they have learned and prioritize  what needs to be studied. One of the other brilliant peers I asked brought up the strategy for taking tests. Which is perfect information for the upcoming test season. The fun part is they gave a detailed response to not only help me but also any other reader who needs a little direction. Zebulon explained that he works best when he studies right before the test or exam. In a perfect conversational tone he breaks down the different ways he goes about studying. 

“First step is to determine what type of test it is. Open-book[?] Take notes and use them during the test,” said Zeb. “Traditional[?] Take notes and have at least one study session with at least one other person. It all depends on how the test/exam is structured–take advantage of everything at your disposal,”.

Zeb takes the approach that if you study right before with the right material all will be well and that’s kind of how I roll. On any occasion when I have to test—which isn’t often because I write large papers mostly— there will be a big sit down session where I go over everything right before I am tested. I am a believer that I learned something during the classes and the tests are testing me on how much I retained. I live on the wild side. Zeb, all the other students agree that cheating and plagiarism is never acceptable. In Zeb’s words “never ever ever ever cheat. Not only is it morally reprehensible, but the potential damage to your education’s efficacy, your reputation, and your future prospects are not worth a letter grade,”. Zeb did it perfectly. I couldn’t have described it any better. 

All while the last student I interviewed who doesn’t do a lot of extra work seems to get their stuff together pretty good. Owen takes the same approach as I do when it comes to study and Zeb is the more advanced version.

“I don’t study for my history tests that hard. I often just look up and brush up on topics that may be covered,” said Owen. 

I can appreciate a dedicated student that takes studying last minute to the buzzer. Owen is probably the only one I have read the answers to and though yeah studying isn’t for everyone, and I am one of those people. A technique that Owen uses well and seems to work for him maybe it could be applied to others. Owen simplified the idea of studying just down to a basic formula of repeating a task.

“ Repetition. I often continue to read and reread or practice something over and over until I memorize the information,” said Owen. “I did this when learning Sign Language,”.

This takes a few minutes a day to work on something and just practice a theory or concept to get it down better rather than spending hours and risking burn out. I think this is something I will work with later for my term quizzes. I don’t plan to work on anything more than I have to so when I start to feel tired of the assignment it is time for a small break. Along with a change in homework topic. 

We covered a lot of ideas here on how to study but the important part is that they are just suggestions. Ally goes to tutoring and works in a group setting often. Zeb works with others but puts more emphasis on note taking and planning. While Owen likes to use repetition to learn and understand his assignments. When it comes to the last few days of finals, perplexing as it is to the student; but here are some ideas to just think about so burnout doesn’t become a regular issue during finals.

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Skyler Misiaszek

Plattsburgh '25

I am a lover of roller skating and dogs! My favorite breed is mastiff. On my free time I paint and sew, although I wouldn't let me fix your pants for you. I am still learning, but that's okay. Best Wishes & Safe Travels!