Smooth Sail into Finals

With the semester coming to an end & finals right around the corner, this would be a good time to clear your head & get a head start.

A frequent mistake many undergraduates make is trying to speak or meet with professors on the last day/week of class or during finals. As a mentor I noticed many students panicking once they realized the semester is almost over. Then they want to meet their professors ASAP to talk about their grades. If the professor responds slow or can’t meet with them, they would get upset. What shocks me is that these students wait till last minute to deal with this.

Three weeks before the semester ends take some time to review & calculate your grades for your all classes. Make sure everything is document correctly. If not bring this to your professor’s attention. Meet with your professor or drop in during office hours. Don’t try to cram everything last minute. It will add more stress for you.

Next review your schedule for finals. Look at your syllabus to see if your classes requires a final. Some classes might not have a final but might have a final paper or project. When checking your schedule for finals assigned from the college, make sure you only have (2) finals per day. If you are scheduled to have more than 2 finals in one day, go to the registrar’s office & they will adjust your schedule for (2) finals per day.

As you are reviewing your final schedule & assignment deadlines, make sure to jot down these dates in your agenda or wall/desk calendar to help you remember. Then plan your studying based on the priorities according to deadlines. It helps to physically see a calendar with all of the deadlines because then you are able to determine what day & how many hours you will put towards these assignments & classes.

Afterwards decide the three (W)s: where, when, and who. Where will you study? Try picking a place where you can really focus. When will you study & for how long? Based this off your final exam schedule. Then finally who will you study with? Do you study better in groups or alone? If you study better in group & need group members, consider creating a page on Facebook or email your classmates to see if anyone would like to join. I did this once for a Communication class & 4 people came to study.  This was useful because we were able to review notes, materials, & exchange information allowing us to learn from each other. But remember to ask yourself if studying with friends, am I able to study, do work & not get distracted?

Other places to study at are the library, common spaces within your dormitory, common study area in academics buildings, computer labs, & coffee shops. If possible try to study off old exams & ATTEND a review session if offered. Review sessions are important because you can get last minute questions answered & a final review.

Now to the toughest part, de-activating social media website such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & etc. IF you have to use Facebook to contact your peers then you can leave it on. But consider blocking all the website from certain time frames so you can really focus. You can block these social media websites by using the web browser Chrome. Consider going M.I.A (missing in action) to stay away from the partying scene & use this time to prepare for finals. Remember academics comes first!

Lastly don’t forget to take care of your body. Make sure you drink plenty of water, rest, & eat healthy food. Switch those chips & sweets for nuts, raisins & fruits. Swap those energy drinks & coffee for tea. Try to avoid pulling all-nighters and get some sleep even if it’s for a few hours. This way your body can rest & replenish. If you are afraid of oversleeping set a few alarm & have a few friends come and physically wake you up.

Finals can be a stressful time but plan ahead & you can stay on track. Be confident & tell yourself you will pass with flying colors. Remember to bring those #2 pencils, college ID, and the calculator. Good luck!

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