Surviving Finals

The semester is coming to a close, and with it comes the most stressful time for most students, finals. Due dates for projects and papers are fast approaching, and on top of that, studying and preparing for the final exams of the semester fill up a student’s schedule during these last two weeks until the holiday break. Trine University is offering events and services during exam week to ease the pressure of impending due dates and the seemingly never ending study guides.

Starting exam week off on Monday December 10th, make sure to sign up for a massage from 10 am to 5 pm to work out those stress kinks and relax before your next final. Sign up in student services, and massages will take place in Fabiani Theatre. Also on the 10th Moonlight Breakfast will be held at 10 pm in Whitney Commons. Just bring your student ID and come on out to the cafeteria and get served your favorite breakfast foods by some of your favorite faculty members. It is a great way to take a break from all that studying and get out to enjoy some good food with some great people.

Tuesday the 11th will be Wings and Long necks at 9 pm, also in Whitney Commons. Enjoy 10 wings and a Jones Soda for just $2. A great way to take a break from studying and enjoy some delicious food.

Finally on Wednesday the 12th Trine is offering a dessert bar and coffee hour in Whitney Commons. This will start at 8 pm, with some amazing desserts and delicious coffee to help keep you going for those last few exams.

Along with these stress relievers, here are 10 sure fire tips that will help you get the most out of your studying, and make the road through the end of the semester as smooth as possible.

  • DON’T PANIC. Working yourself up before a test is a pretty good way to fail that test. Just remain calm, the more level headed you approach an exam the more clearly you will be able to think. This will allow you to remember all those long hours of preparation, and will help to keep public meltdowns about the possibility of failing and having to drop out to a minimum, which is always a good thing.
  • DON’T BE TOO RELAXED. I know what you are thinking, I just told you not to panic and now I am telling you to not get too complacent. It is a fine line to walk, and finals are important without making it a life or death situation. Just as it is best not to walk into the final with the attitude that your life hangs on the balance of this one test, it is also best to take finals seriously. Make sure to prepare and don’t just blow it off, as most professors differ on how much their finals are worth.
  • MAKE TIME FOR FUN. As with most things in life, moderation and portion control are key here. I am not saying study for 15 minutes and then take a 2 hour “fun session.” But this is not the time to stop doing things that you enjoy. You will study better and retain more if you spread out your studying and make time to refresh yourself. Short breaks and some time with friends will help alleviate some of the stress that comes with staring at words on study guides all day long.
  • USE AN EFFECTIVE STUDY METHOD. Understanding what works for you is very important. Some learn best by simply reading through the material. For others, it is flash cards, or quizzing out loud with a friend. Maybe making up a song, or connecting definitions with random objects that you can remember is your ticket to an A. whatever it is, use it. Remember, the key to effective retention is repetition. Find your method and stick to it.
  • GET ENOUGH SLEEP. I realize we are college students, so this tip is often a struggle at the best of times, but your brain really does work better with more sleep. Pulling an “all-nighter” is not the best idea for exams. Cramming leads to confused and superficial knowledge. Be rested and ready when you walk into that classroom, it will serve you better than a half hour nap and three red bulls.
  • USE YOUR OFF DAYS WISELY. Again, I realize we are college students, and as tempting as it might be to let loose and party on days you might have a break in your exam schedule, it is not the best use of your time. Instead, why not get ahead for another exam? This way you will not be as panicked because you will be more prepared. Less cramming will happen and you might actually get enough sleep to make it through the day without a liter of caffeine in your system.
  •  BE ON TIME. Seriously, no one likes being the one walking in as everyone in the class is already bent over their tests slaving away. Don’t be that person. Be on time, and save yourself that awkward moment of trying to be as quiet as possible while opening your back pack for a pen so as not to disturb the already silent room of test takers. Double check the alarm, set two if you have to. Be on time.
  • READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. Nothing is more heartbreaking than realizing you read a direction or question wrong after the exam is over. Take your time and read through all the questions, and make sure you understand all the instructions. We have heard this since we have been taking tests, and we have all at some point or another still failed to read through properly and been burned for it.
  • IT’S NOT A RACE. Don’t worry about being the first one done. You have been studying away sacrificing valuable free time in order to make sure you get a good grade on these finals. Why would you then rush through them, possibly making mistakes just because three people are already done and you are beating yourself up because you can’t stand to lose a race? Take your time, don’t worry about anyone else. How fast they get done has nothing to do with how well you will do on your final, I promise you that.
  • WHEN IT’S OVER, LET IT GO. Do not dwell on an exam you have already taken. It is over, done, finished. Move on to the next one. There is no use worrying about answers you can no longer change. Your time is better spent worrying about the next one or possibly getting away and enjoying a well needed break.
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