Stressing about finals? Here are five tips for success

Joseph Kamin, Editor-in-Chief

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With the end of the fall semester comes a time that all college students dread; finals week. While this is not a pleasant time for many students, it is bittersweet because it means that the end of the semester is coming to a close, but on the other hand, depending on how you have done during the semester, finals week might be incredibly easy or stress induced. Here are five tips that may helps finals week go a little bit smoother.

Number one: This first tip has been repeated by of your professors: go to class. This is probably the best way to ensure that finals week is easy and just a little bit less stressful. Going to class benefits no one but yourself. It teaches you material that will be covered on your final. It can help raise your grade so that by the time finals do roll around, you will not need to stress about getting such a high grade in order to get an ‘A’ or that grade you want.

Number two: Now this one is one that many college students overlook: sleep. Many studies have linked low amounts of sleep to lower memory retention and learning. While many of us stay up late and pull all-nighters to get things that we’ve procrastinated done, we need sleep. Energy drinks and coffee may give you the temporary energy, but nothing will ever replace the real thing. Without proper sleep, it is hard to focus, study and get good grades.

Number three: Take notes in class and do your study guides. In a digital age, many teachers and students spend more time focusing on new technology. However, many studies have linked the act of physically writing something down on paper to a higher retention rate. While it may seem simple, writing out that equation, the name of that one bone in the human or animal skeleton might seem rudimentary, the repetition of writing it over, and over again can actually cause a rate of memorization.

Number four: Cut down on social events. Now I understand this will become a little trickier for students who are more social to spend nights in the library studying and not nights out with friends. While college is where many people meet their lifelong friends, there comes a time when a you as a student and not as a friend must prioritize between spending quality time studying or time hanging out with friends.

While the latter of these is more enjoyable, the first is more rewarding in the long term. While binge-watching your favorite Netflix show might seem like an enjoyable evening now, later down the road when you pass all of your classes and get that dream job, the studying will pay off. Spending a night in the library might not be as enjoyable as spending a night out with friends, but while some of your friends who didn’t take it seriously are on academic probation, you’ll be enjoying your next set of classes.

Number five: If you fail, it is okay. Now I understand this is not so much a tip, but advice. Sometimes you will give something your all and spend hours studying for a test and still not get a good grade. That is okay. As long as you put your best effort in, that is all anyone can ask for. Put your best effort forward, spend those hours studying and that time going to class. You might get a lower grade than anticipated, but that is okay.

Success is determined by how you run the race. While achieving that illustrious ‘A’ in a class is rewarding; sometimes you have to learn to be content with that ‘B.’ It’s a marathon, not a race.

Author J.K. Rowling said, “it’s a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.”

Finals week is temporary; we generally only take them a handful of times. Before we know it, we’ll all be in our 30s and laughing about how we spend that week stressing over a test that we ended up getting an ‘A’ on. Cherish the time we’re here, before you know it, it’ll all be over and it will be just a distant memory.