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Students Studying at the TCU Intercultural Center
It’s finals season again! With looming deadlines and exams, the end of the semester might feel like an insurmountable challenge. From a current college student to a prospective college student (or admitted applicant!) I have a few tips to help you manage finals week. 
1. Use Active Study Strategies
The key to success in college is finding effective study strategies tailored to your preferences. Sounds like an action movie, but active recall is my favorite study method to tackle test-prep, not shadowy villains. Instead of just repeating back information, write out what you’ve read in your own words. Then take it further – make a quiz or flashcards, write a tutorial or draw a diagram. Check it out here and if it’s not for you, there’s plenty of other active study methods, including the Pomodoro Technique, Mind Mapping or the Feynman Technique. Discover more study methods and use what works for you!
2. Set the Study Mood
Sometimes it’s difficult to motivate yourself to start studying, but a well-crafted plan is your ticket to success. Before finals week hits, I make sure to keep these three things in mind:
  • Create a detailed study plan. Are you studying with classmates or by yourself? When and where will you study? Share your plan with family, friends or classmates for accountability.
  • Use a paper or digital planner to block out your time effectively.
  • Give yourself breaks and eat food regularly! Your brain doesn’t work when it’s overworked.
 When finals week arrives, building a solid plan is only half the battle. Find conducive study environments in a space where you can focus, preferably with natural light. Understand your study habits—do you thrive in background noise or require silence? Tailor your study environment accordingly for optimal focus.
And don't forget to make studying enjoyable! Treat yourself to coffee, energy drinks or snacks of your choice. I like to venture to a cozy coffee shop to break away from my dorm room and the library. I also create a playlist and use headphones to improve my focus.
3. It’s OK to Not Study
While this post emphasizes the importance of studying, it's equally important to strike a balance. Consider these stress-reducing activities to nourish your soul:
  • Escape into a good book or movie to divert your mind from study stress.
  • Arrange a dinner with friends before the semester ends, providing a refreshing break and a chance to reconnect.
  • Plan a game night with family for a fun and stress-relieving break.
Yes, finals week is undeniably challenging and brings stress and pressure to finish the semester strong. However, armed with these tips, we hope to make your finals more manageable, and less stressful. Embrace the challenges, stay motivated and remember—the finish line is in sight!

Ryan Thorpe is an undergraduate junior double majoring in Journalism and Communication Studies. He is a competition reality TV connoisseur, loves garlic hummus with pita chips and is weirdly good at Mario Kart (but only on the Wii).