Finals: How to Balance Between Cramming and Having No Life

Finals are coming, and you know what that means. Late night cramming sessions and essays fueled by energy drinks and the faint hope of graduation (not to mention, late night phone calls and desperately trying to calculate GPA before the big test.) ...but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Maybe you’re one of those students who studies diligently throughout the semester, and aces every quiz you come across, or maybe you’re more of the type to cram the night (and morning) before. Whether you are a few weeks ahead of the game, or just want to know how you can still do relatively well or even pass, here are some tips and tricks that can hopefully help you in this finals journey. 

1. Plan ahead.

Scheduling is already hard, but cramming is harder. Try to block out your study schedule for the next few weeks, after you go through your syllabus, in order to find the best way to break up the semester into bite-sized pieces. Be realistic about how much time you can put into studying- schedule it out,and plan for success! Cramming won’t help, but studying effectively will.


2. Take breaks!

This is the fun part- but remember to not get carried away. Studying in short blocks is proven to help you retain more information, and the breaks give your brain time to recharge, and process what you’ve learned. Go out and have lunch with friends, or study in groups in order to put all your knowledge together so still be “productive”. Just make sure that your break time doesn’t completely overshadow the studying part.


This may be the most important one. At the end of the day, it won’t matter how much you’ve studied, if your brain can’t function due to lack of sleep. Sleeping helps your brain store the information you’ve learned. Pro tip: studying a bit before bed is good, but remember to not overdo it. Go to your finals refreshed, and make sure you get to your finals on time. 


In the end, it all comes down to planning and taking care of yourself. Make sure to call friends and family if you need a mental recharge, and don’t stress yourself to the point of unhealthiness. Ultimately it’s just a grade, and it doesn’t define you as a person. College and exams are just a small part of your life, and ultimately it’s better to be a well-rounded person. But your effort still matters, so go out there and hit the books!


Pictures: 1, 2, 3