It’s the final(s) countdown


You have conquered your first day, your first exam, your first midterm, virtual learning, advising meetings and registration prep. Now, it is time for the worst week of them all; finals week. Finals are not as sinister as some think. However, they are a part of college that brings a load of stress and an endless number of sleepless nights. Bottom-line, the library will be your best friend. Although finals are quite stressful, there is no reason to be worried, as by addressing the issue early, everyone can all break free of the finals fear plaguing our minds. During finals the Dick Smith Library will have extended hours. The Dick Smith Library will be open Monday through Thursday, Nov. 30 through Dec. 3, from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Friday, Dec. 4, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 6, from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Monday to Tuesday, Dec. 7 through 8, from 7 a.m. 2 a.m.; and Wednesday, Dec. 9, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information about the Rickett Library, located on the Fort Worth campus and the Dick Smith Library’s hour changes, can be found on their respective websites. “My biggest fear about the upcoming finals is that I have not prepared enough. Being a freshman, I do not know what to expect. I am worried that I am already starting off college on the wrong foot,” journalism major, Mike Jones, said. The best way to prepare for finals is to read the syllabus and ask questions. There are initially two different types of finals; comprehensive finals and section finals. Comprehensive finals are exams that cover all the material students have learned in the course of the semester. That could mean that the exam will have more than one hundred questions. When dealing with comprehensive exams, it is best to study as you go. Trying to learn a semester full of work in one night will only hurt you in the long run. Since most classes are offered online currently, regaining access to past assignments and exams should not be hard. Professors should always be open to helping students prepare for finals, as asking for help never hurts. A section-based final should be approached differently. Section based exams are exams that only cover information students have learned since the previous exam. Section-based exams are likely to resemble exams 1 through 3. For students that struggle with studying and test anxiety, there are multiple services on campus that help students better prepare for finals week. Many courses offer a supplemental instructor, SI, that holds test preps and review nights where students can ask questions about the material. For courses that do not offer an SI, the tutoring center has a wide variety of tutors that are skilled in the needed subjects. If that still does not bring a sense of reassurance, attend your professor’s office hours. They know what will be on the test so if you are afraid you are behind on the tested subjects, head straight to the source. Tarleton offers a number of test prep help for all different majors. “Make sure that you are staying extremely focused even before finals week. Finals week is not the time to cram everything in. Most professors will give you what you need a week or so before finals week so just stay in tune for what you need to know. Also, don’t stress. Finals week isn’t as bad as you think it is,” social work major, Hannah Seigler, said. Try to avoid procrastination, parties and peer pressure. Waiting until the last minute to prepare for your final exams is the biggest mistake any student can make during finals week. Final exam dates are released the day classes start. Study and prepare each week so that no matter what type of exam you have, you can ensure you will be prepared. When you start early, you save yourself the pain of missing fun nights out on the town. The more you push back studying, the less likely you are to ever sit down and prepare for your tests. With that being said, the hardest thing to avoid during finals week is peer pressure. Some students find it harder to study with friends or in public areas. If that is the case, do not feel pressured to study in the library. Go with what you know and study in an environment that encourages you to complete your work. Finals are only one week long, but the effects are forever. Allow yourself one week of studying and resting because your future depends on how well you finish each semester of college. “I would advise freshmen to avoid procrastination and cramming before final exams and/or projects. Your brain needs time and sleep to process information and store for long-term memory. Make a schedule for yourself and block out time to study for exams and/or work on papers or projects. Stick to the schedule. Allow yourself time to rest, quiz yourself, and make revisions,” Tutoring and Learning Center instructor, Melissa Eubank said. What you do after finals is just as important as what you do before finals week. One of the best ways to de-stress following finals week is by taking a much deserved nap. You worked hard and sleep deprivation is the worst way to celebrate exam completions. Once you are completely well-rested, allow yourself to spend time with your friends and family. Go out to eat and have a huge celebration. College is hard and finals are harder. However, finals week goes, whether it ends in good grades or bad, move on and celebrate a new approaching semester. You cannot change the past so refrain from dwelling on the results of each final. “I just do whatever brings me peace and joy. I like hanging out with my people,” social work major, Kiara Owens, said. Finals week does not have to be a dreadful, week of tests and anxiety. With the right amount of planning and preparations finals can go from a scary deadline, to another moment in the semester. Never wait until the last minute to ask for help and never feel ashamed when you do ask for help. Take advantage of the academic services offered on campus and conquer finals week one test at a time.