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May 7, 2019
Finals are right around the corner. They are a stressful time, and dealing with them efficiently is a process. It is a process that is just as important to learn as the material of one’s degree.
Admittedly, I am not the best of students. My biggest obstacle has always been myself.
There are many others more qualified to write this article. Though, I am also an ideal person to write this article.
Everything I have learned about tackling finals week comes from a pile of failures. In other words, I suffered so that, now, you do not have to.
A game plan is key to surviving finals.
Taking the time to craft an ideal way to attack the monolith of finals will save countless hours of stress and pain down the line.
I started to craft a strategy for finals halfway through my degree, and it has been the most helpful thing I have learned in college.
What goes into one’s game plan is key to its effectiveness.
The first thing to be done is ordering finals by their importance. The most crucial exam should be the one that the highest grade is needed.
If one is like me and always is in a make or break situation, the following criteria should be difficulty.
So, the most important exam is the one desperately needed to obtain an excellent final grade and the most difficult out of said tests.
Once there is an order to the madness of finals, time management comes into play.
Schedule every second of study and prep time. The schedule should not be an ideal one.
Factor in extra time for everything, while still having adequate time to study for each exam. Everyone gets distracted or procrastinates during finals week. Factoring in the time for such delays is a life saver.
The hardest thing to factor time for is life. A work/life balance is a large part of college life.
Many of us are still trying to figure that out.
Becoming a recluse is not a wise way to go about finals. Tunnel vision will just drain any individual. Breaks and time with friends should be accounted for in the game plan.
It is essential to not going totally insane.
Communication with teachers is vital.
There is seldom a professor that wants to fail a student. Failing a student comes with paperwork, and no one likes doing paperwork.
The coming days before the final is the last time they can help students.
For final papers, extensions are hard to give, due to grading deadlines, but it is still possible.
Most professors want their students to have every ability to turn in their best work. Professors are usually more than happy to give a small bit of extra time if one keeps them updated on their progress.
Obviously, a valid reason is always needed for an extension, though every professor has their own criteria on what constitutes a valid reason.
The last essential thing is staying healthy.
Planning for meals in one’s game plan can aide a lot in stress reduction and decrease wasted time.
It sounds weird, I know, but having the what, where and when of each meal means eating becomes formulaic.
It removes the time wasted trying to decide between tacos and burgers.
Sleep is essential for a successful finals week.
The insane irony of me telling people to sleep is not lost on me.
I hardly ever sleep, which means I do know the benefits of a good night’s sleep. My well-rested days are my most productive.
The best thing to do is to have a sleep schedule.
Bedtime should be the same every night, and waking up should happen at around the same time every morning.
It is tempting to pull an all-nighter, but it is not wise. It is better to have time every morning to study.
Hydration is also key to a proper finals week.
Our bodies need water to do anything, so keep water around at all times.
Every piece of advice I offer comes from four years of learning.
I did not have a work ethic when I came to the university; I just went with the flow. After that blew up in my face repeatedly, I started to make a game plan for every finals week until graduation.
It was not a process that was birthed overnight. Hopefully, these steps can help you avoid many of the failures I have experienced thus far.