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Ask Ayla: The “F” Word


It may be too early to even mention this, and yes, even thinking about it makes me cringe, but let me just rip the Band-Aid off: finals are coming. This catastrophic bi-yearly event is slowly creeping up on us, and before we know it, finals will essentially consume our lives. The reason I’m bringing up finals this early is because there is a way to avoid the overwhelming amount of blood, sweat, and tears typically associated with the “F” word. What is the magical method to attain success, you ask? No, it’s not Adderall. It’s…*drumroll please*… planning ahead and time management! I know it sounds redundant, but trust me, if you start planning for finals right now, you will decrease the amount of work and stress you could be dealing with come early December.

Let’s begin by thinking about this week logically- let’s say the average Wake student is taking five classes with two of these classes assigning term papers as their final and the last three having typical final exams. If this is the case, you basically have one week to study for three tests and write two papers – and let’s be honest you’re planning on starting and finishing these papers and studying within the same week that they are all due. If you’re anything like me, just reading all of this is freaking you out. Well, have no fear! After years and years of trying to master finals week (and subsequently failing), I think I have finally mastered this tricky week.

The 5-Step Method:

  • Step 1: You’ll need a pen, some paper, and a few deep breaths. After you’ve finished your inhales and exhales,
  • Step 2: Write out all of your final assessments and organize them by date
  • Step 3: Review your previous tests and write down each and every chapter or section that could be on your final exam.
  • Step 4: Reviewing your sections or chapters, write in parentheses what day you’re going to go back and review them. Make sure to start from the oldest sections and to end at the newer ones. Now when finals week comes, you’re going to have most of your reviewing done before you originally planned to even start it!

You will feel so much better knowing that your all-night cramming session is now a few hours of simple reviewing. Also, there’s a much higher chance of you doing well on those cumulative little devils if you study ahead and get a more comprehensive grasp of the material. Cramming the night before usually involves a lot of skimming, and when you need these exams to either boost or maintain your grade, skimming isn’t something you want to take a chance on.

In regards to the papers, as soon as you know what your topic is and how to go about writing it, START IT. Take it from someone who used to be the master of procrastination, DO NOT wait until the last minute to start those papers because I guarantee you that both the quality of your paper and those future bags under your eyes are going to suffer for it.

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Ayla Yazdani

Wake Forest

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