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Surviving Finals Week

Posted: December 10, 2012

So it’s that time of the semester again… Finals Week. Before you have a cow over the several exams you have to take in the next week or so, take a moment to look over some advice I’ve compiled from your Fall 2012 bloggers and guest bloggers.
Amanda Hofstaedter (junior, Food Science) studies for a Horticulture 101 exam outside of the Berkey Creamery.

Amanda Hofstaedter (junior, Food Science) studies for a Horticulture 101 exam outside of the Berkey Creamery.

Hey guys, Alli Hoover here, your Summer 2012 blogger back for a final 2012 entry, possibly the most beneficial blog you can find out there right now. We all know those last 15 weeks of the semester just flew by, but before we look forward to a nice (little) Winter Break, we have to endure… FINALS WEEK! But don’t get all worked up just yet, because we have some expert advice for you in preparing for and getting through the most stressful (yet somehow least busy) week of the semester. See what the Fall 2012 bloggers and Ag Advocates have to say about their Finals Week experiences.

Words of wisdom from one of your regular bloggers, Frank Desiderio, junior, Environmental Resource Management:

One thing I've learned is that stressing over finals won't ever help you study or perform better, so here are my tips to make it as smooth as possible:
  1. Insert productive study breaks. Set goals for yourself for a certain number of pages or topics to cover (try not to go over an hour), then reward yourself with a break for leisure reading or listening to music. I wouldn't recommend watching TV or surfing the web since your brain will get out of study mode and you'll spend a lot more time doing it than you planned.
  2. Actually think about what you're reading. It sounds obvious, but sometimes reminding myself to actually consider what I'm studying instead of just looking at words will make a HUGE difference in what I retain.

Remember they're just tests, and then you get a break. I realize a final exam is often the biggest grade you get in a class, but you have to keep in mind the big picture: it's another test. You've had them before, and you'll probably have them again. If you can take them on with self-confidence, your grades will reflect it. Basically, don't let the finals overwhelm you, make yourself THEIR boss. With this sort of mentality, you'll find yourself doing fantastic when that time comes around.

From guest blogger Megan Davis, graduating senior, Wildlife and Fisheries Science:

  1. Don't wait until the last minute.
  2. Eat a healthy breakfast.
  3. Relax!

Your blogging expert has some expert advice… Jess Moldofsky, senior, Environmental Resource Management:

  1. Sleep is so crucial! After four years, I've come to realize that nothing good comes from an all-nighter!
  2. No question is a stupid question! I've found that it’s best to clarify any uncertainties before finals come around!
  3. Enjoy each year! Despite the long hours studying and weekends spent doing homework, these ARE the best four years of your life! 

And finally, some closing remarks from me, Allison Hoover, junior, Agricultural and Extension Education:

  1. Humans have a tendency to worry, but there is really no reason to do so. Life goes on and you will reap what you sow: so spend time studying now, but remember that “Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest.” (Ashleigh Brilliant)
  2. Be careful when it comes to studying in numbers. If you know you are a social butterfly (like me) and you will just want to talk with the people you are “studying” with, it is better to go find a nice quiet place to focus.
  3. Don't just read text or type notes. Our minds don’t process information when we simply copy or read it. Rather, re-WRITE notes (with a pen/pencil), digesting and changing your wording so that the content becomes a part of your working memory and, with repetition, part of your long-term memory. Memory is the residue of thought: the more we think about things, the easier we can pull them out when needed.

There you go! Hopefully this advice helps you realize that there is life after finals week and that you will certainly survive the exams. After all, each one is only one exam of one class of one semester of one year of your four short years in college. Don’t let them consume you, but don’t take them lightly. Soon enough, you’ll find your own methods of surviving finals week that you can pass on to other worrisome students.

Enjoy the few days left and have a wonderful holiday break! We’ll see you in the spring!