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
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
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).