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Academics

My complete guide to surviving finals week

It’s that time of the year again: 2am library sessions, stress baking and calculating what grade you need in order to pass a class. I always dread finals season, so I have collected a bunch of tips to navigate it in the best possible way this semester. 

A few things to do before you start studying…

First things first, invest in a good pair of headphones (or buy earplugs!) and stock up on coffee, tea, and of course, study snacks (these will be great when you need a reward throughout your study sessions).

Next, catch up on everything, especially if your final for a class consists of an exam. Now is the time to do the readings you never did, because they might come up on the test. The same idea applies to catching up on lectures you missed (calling myself out on that one…), or documents you never even looked at. Make sure you have all of the material you need, and if you have questions, go to office hours early on! Do not wait until the day before your finals to reach out to your professors and TA’s. 

Make a “master to-do list”, one that includes everything you have to get done. I personally make mine very detailed because I have found that breaking up a big, daunting task into a bunch of smaller ones actually makes it less intimidating. This will also help you organize your Google calendar, and block out your study hours accordingly. 

Now, it’s time to actually study

Start off your morning bright and early, and get out of your dorm/apartment right away! I always get so distracted when I study in my room, so I recommend going to the library (Clem and Clark are my go-to’s). Make a to-do list every single day, and be sure to incorporate time for self-care, exercise and frequent breaks. 

Take breaks! Go on a quick walk, run an errand, grab food or Facetime your family. Breaks are also a great time to switch up your surroundings a little bit, just so that you don’t stay in one spot for too long.

Find “fun” ways to study, even though studying is never really fun. Meet with a study group, read your notes out loud or pretend you’re explaining the concepts to a friend.

These are all the tips I have gathered! Final seasons is mentally and physically draining, and it is absolutely normal to be stressed out. Remind yourself that even if you don’t do that well, at least you will be done and can enjoy your winter break! Good luck!

Hi! I'm Blanche and I am a second-year from Los Altos, California, studying Economics and History. I love playing tennis, reading, getting coffee with friends, and listening to Taylor Swift!
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