The past few days have been solely focused on studying, with some sleep and meals thrown in out of necessity. Finals in college are stressful, long, and tedious, but I thought I would throw together a quick list of a few things I do to help me get through them.
1.Find your study vibe
While it is different for everyone, we all have that one place where we are the most productive. Maybe it’s your bedroom, or your living room, or your favorite café, or the library. For me, it is hands down the library, and particularly the quiet floors. I love being able to spread out books and papers and organize myself at larger desks, and I need complete silence when I am working. Sometimes though, if there is a particularly loud whisperer near me, I’ll listen to one of the study playlists on Spotify to drown them out. None of the songs have words so they don’t distract me, which I love in a playlist.
Walking into your study space signals you’re ready to get to work and be productive. I know that when I walk into the library, its time to focus and check off my to-do list. I like to find spots close to the window if I can, and try to sit near the water fountain so I have an excuse to get up every now and then.
2. Write/Draw notes by hand
I am a visual learner, and I find that information sticks with me better if I write it out by hand. I also like writing my notes in unique ways to make them easier to recall during the exam. I use a lot of little illustrations, and like to make annotations on my notes for particularly important information, or a way to remember it.
Color-coding is a big part of this as well, and I like to use bright colors to bring my attention back to important information, without using something as boring as a highlighter. My favorite way to do this is with these watercolor pens from Amazon.
3. Schedule study breaks
After leaving my study space, I like to leave myself a few hours to relax and regroup. I’ll watch a show on Netflix, listen to a podcast, or clean up around my apartment. This gives me time to think about something else and let’s the information settle in.
4. Study with friends
Although I like to study in silence, I like to study in silence with friends. During finals season, I find it comforting to be in a group, knowing we are all working hard and waiting to get through the week. It also motivates me to keep working when I can see others doing the same.
If your college has study rooms, I would highly recommend checking those out as well! It’s a great way to have a quiet space to talk and bounce ideas of each other without the stress of being on the main “talking” floor of the library.
With this tip though, make sure you are studying with people you know won’t distract you!
5. Be kind to yourself
It’s so easy during finals time to get discouraged and frustrated. It can feel like you’ll never know enough or haven’t done enough to prepare, regardless of how many hours you’ve spent pouring over the textbook and flashcards.
At the end of the day, it is so important to remember that this one test, or even this one set of finals, won’t ruin your life. For better or worse, at the end finals week, you’ll still wake up in the morning and continue on. One grade doesn’t define you, so don’t let it run your life.
This is one that I really had to work on because in the moment the final feels like the most important thing in the world. I like to keep a list of other things that I love and care about, that I will still have after the final. It sounds dramatic, but it helps get me out of my head and take some of the pressure off myself, so I can , better come test day!
I hope at least one of these was helpful, and eased your mind about finals! What are your best tips for dealing with finals season? Let me know in the comments.
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