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Ending Your Semester Strong

We all know finals are a very stressful part of our college lives and we all dread it as the time approaches. Here are a few words of advice:

First and foremost, know where you stand. Be sure that you have tracked what your current grade is in your course. Take time to reflect on the material you have covered in lecture and in the readings. Even if you have received high scores on all your exams, that is not an invitation to slack off and not study for your final.

Be sure to communicate with your instructor. This is something that should really be done every semester with all of your instructors to ensure you are on the same page as them in terms of where you stand in the class. Establishing this relationship helps once you come closer to finals time. Even if you haven’t gone in to their office during the semester, it’s never too late. Seek your instructor for extra help  if you are encountering some difficulties in the course and possibly extra credit opportunities.

It’s easy to think about the break coming after finals instead of focusing on the actual tasks at hand. You don’t have to cut your social life entirely, but definitely prioritize and make sure you are putting study time first. Set goals; “If I finish this chapter study guide by this time, then I’ll go get some yogurt with a friend as my treat”. Reward yourself, but set a timeline and stick to it.

Do not cram! Maybe this is something you have done before and have waited until the last-minute, sometimes from habit, or sometimes just because life happens. We do this but we all know we shouldn’t. It seems  so much easier than actually planning out days of studying. But it doesn’t help! Cramming leads more often than not leads to failing. Trying to remember everything the night before just adds to stress and you end up forgetting more than you’re trying to remember.

Also, sleep at least 7 hours a night. Plan ahead with your study schedule so that you aren’t up late night before an exam. Study bit by bit every day and get the sleep you need to retain information.

Stay away from coffee and energy drinks! If you are tired, eat an apple instead. It actually has more caffeine than a cup of coffee and obviously is the healthier choice. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and especially during studying. This will keep you focused, hydrated, and full so that you aren’t aimlessly snacking away while studying.

This time of year is full of chaos between studying, still going to classes, trying to maintain your social life, amongst other things. Keep your head on right and focus on the next couple of weeks. Set your goals, know where you stand, and do it right! Finish your semester strong so you can enjoy your break! And just hang in there! It’ll all be over before you know it.

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Life is Big. Be Prepared.