It’s April, and final exams are right around the corner. The end of the semester can be incredibly stressful, especially if you’ve fallen behind in one or more classes. That feeling of panic is probably just starting to set in, and everyone is trying their hardest to catch up on assignments and final projects. So, to help ease the stress and tension, here are some tips on how to survive the end of the semester.
Make a Schedule
This may seem simple, but it can be incredibly helpful to know for sure what’s happening when, and when it is going to happen. It’s one thing to assume that you know when certain exams and deadlines are, but this can lead to confusion and mix-ups, and that’s not going to help reduce your stress at all. Try to find a calendar or a scheduling program and write down when all of your final assignments are due, and exams are happening.
Lists can be very helpful during finals. Like schedules, lists can help reducing stress. Another plus of lists is that you get to check things off as you do them, which can feel satisfying.
Sometimes, the best thing to do if you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed is to walk away for a little bit. Take a walk, get a coffee with a friend, go to the gym – do something that isn’t working for an hour or so and come back. You’ll be surprised by how re-energized you feel.
If you’re one of those people who skip breakfast or lunch, stop. You don’t want to feel sick because you decided that a candy bar was your best option for a pre-exam snack. Eating well during stressful times can help you feel fuller for longer, and can also prevent any physical discomfort from eating junk food.
This is probably the most important thing on this list. You can’t accomplish anything if you are tired and can’t think straight. Sleep restores your energy so you can start fresh on your work and be able to get more done in less time.
Get Started Early
As college students, it can only be expected that the preferred way to blow off steam is to party it up. But partying all night right before finals week probably isn’t the best strategy. That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy yourself at all. You can have a great time, but keep it in check so you can get started on studying and writing final papers before crunch time.
If you are one of those students who prefer things to be a little less wild, studying with friends can be helpful. Research has shown that quizzing yourself before a test is one of the more effective ways of retaining information, so you may want to get some classmates together and have everyone make up mock test questions so you can grill each other.
Know what to expect on exams long before the test date arrives. Ask professors what’s going to be covered on the test and if they have any suggestions for what your focus should be while studying. If you’re confused about a paper prompt or want to make sure your idea is in line with what the professor wants, do not hesitate to ask about it.
Look at Old Assignments
Going over old quizzes, midterms and papers can help raise your awareness of what to avoid doing, or what areas you need to brush up on. This can be way more helpful than just reading over all of the notes you took for the semester because it can give you some direction and help you avoid making the same mistake twice.
Make an assessment and decide what needs the most of your time. For instance, if there is a class that you have been performing well in all semester, and you are not too worried about your ability to do well on your final test or project, you might want to spend less time focusing on that than a class that’s been challenging for you all semester. Again, writing it down might help you feel less stressed.