The blessed sunny beginning of May will gather some dark clouds over the Ohio college this year. The college finals week is coming in all its nerve-wracking glory. College finals week is a hard time for both freshmen and graduates. Just like Professor Lupin’s boggart from Harry Potter, they turn into a set of tailored terrifying challenges for each particular student. But fear no more. With the proper approach, you’ll survive this week just fine.
As the saying goes, this, too, shall pass. For it to pass with the least damage to your mental health, follow these simple survival rules.
Go into a boot camp mode
To eliminate the distractions and focus on study, mark out the finals season in your calendar with a thick red line. Now go into the boot camp mode for this period, like Rocky did. No parties, no lazy days and no dates. Just study. As the days pass, cross them out. It will help you to track the time and keep reassured with the idea that sooner or later, this dreadful time will stay behind you.
Prioritize the study
Look through your social commitments. For the coming weeks, you’ll have your plate full. So you’d rather reschedule any other projects to the dates before or after your studying boot camp. Also, keep any radical changes in your routines for later. Finals are definitely not a good time to start running training or that personal stylist web course.
This means a ban on social events, new Netflix series, or trips to the mall. For the ultimate focus, consider preparing a Zuck-like-decision-free-wardrobe and stacking on the brain snacks such as protein bars and candied fruits. That’ll let you maximize your time for effective study and sufficient sleep.
Physical needs first
Important at all times, enough sleep becomes crucial during college finals week. When your brain is on fire and you fail to maintain your body in good running mode, the dizziness will not help you to write assignments fast. If you feel the fatigue is taking over, skip the energy drink and go for a catnap instead. It’s proven that closing your eyes and relaxing for 30 minutes will rewire your systems and improve the memorizing ability.
Forcing information during the last hours before the exam is common, though inefficient. Your goal is to understand the subject. Try to go slowly and interlink the facts and ideas as you learn them. Use the supporting techniques depending on your preferred way of study. It might be a tidy workbook with colorful highlights, or a whiteboard covered in messy scribbles – there is no one right way, and anything is good as long as it helps you to digest the data effectively.
Ask for help
Asking for help is not a weakness, it’s a superpower. This is a shortcut for you to understand the assignment, that lets you finish it faster and stress less. There are multiple options to get a helping hand:
You can speak to your classmates, professor or his assistant.
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For the advanced studying methods, check out the Academic Coaching program at Ohio State, they have lots of helpful handouts on their site.
Track your time
The freewriting technique is not just for the writers. It is also helpful for study. How often do you open your laptop to write an assignment and then stare at the wall? Try setting a timer instead and just hit the keyboard for 30 minutes straight. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can actually push out these essays.
Same goes for the reading. Track the time you spend on books and write it down. Having a proof that you’ve read your History books for, literally, hours will make you much more confident about your knowledge.
It’s important to study. Yet, it’s also extremely important to let the knowledge imprint. For this, you need to take breaks. They are proven to enhance information retention, improve your learning ability and boost the memory. Take 15-minute breaks every 50-60 minutes of study and make sure you stay away from the screen. Munching on an apple, leafing through a magazine or taking a quick walk around the block is among the perfect ways to relax your mind.
Think of the reward
Do you have a reward planned for the end of college finals week? You should! Anticipating a good time can be the best motivator for you to get through the soul-sucking finals. Every day will seem a little bit brighter if you know it’s taking you a step closer to the fun. Decide what it’s gonna be – a binge week of watching chick flicks in your undies, a road trip across the country or a new super drone you’ve been dreaming of – and go for it!
With all the stress college finals week brings, there’s a good thing about it. It’s just one week. Merely five days, or 120 hours. Mobilize your resources to go through them, and win your right to celebrate all the way through the summer. You’ve got this!