Students studying in Hodges

Students study on the third floor of Hodges Library on Aug. 29, 2018.

It’s that season yet again. With less than two weeks to go, it is time to prepare for the library to become more crowded, the nights to become longer and the schoolwork assigned to feel more impossible. Here are some tips and tricks that can help you to start preparing for finals now.

Write down the date and times of your finals

If you have finals for a class, it is in your best interest to write down the date and time of the final now. If you have a planner, that is a great place to do so. Write it down there so you will see it when you’re planning your week out.

If you don’t have a planner, any piece of paper will work, as long as you don’t lose it. Using a sticky note might be helpful too. You can stick it up on the wall above your desk so you see it when doing work or you could stick it somewhere on your computer, since we all use our computers constantly as college students.

Finals week is Dec. 9-15, so all of your finals will happen or will be due that week.

Make a schedule for yourself

As a college student, it can be difficult to find time for everything you have to do. So, while you’re ahead, make a schedule for yourself outlining when you can study, when assignments are due and when you’re not available.

Google Calendar can be really helpful with this. You can create tasks, appointments, events and even times when you’re “out of the office” so that you can take a break and do something else.

Start making study guides now

Even if they’re just basic outlines of topics from the semester, study guides are a great place to start. They will keep you organized and make it easier for you to follow that study schedule that you made in Tip #2.

Once you’ve completed an outline, you can make study guides for specific chapters or topics. By making these, you’re already beginning the studying process.

Take breaks as needed

This suggestion doesn’t mean to take a break every ten minutes. You can, but it won’t benefit you very much in the long run. Take proportional breaks so that your brain can comprehend and retain the information you’ve just studied.

For example, if you studied for an hour, take a 15-20 minute break to watch some TikToks, your favorite show on your favorite streaming service or just rest. You can use this break time to refresh your mind and body for the next bout of studying.

Start working

If you have a paper or final presentation instead of a final exam, you should definitely start working on that as soon as possible.

It can feel overwhelming to start working on an essay or research paper, but imagine how you’ll feel the night or even the hour before it’s due. If you have the topic, start working and spare yourself the future stress.

Study with a friend

Studying in pairs is great, unless you and your friend are a distraction to each other. Having fun makes learning more enjoyable, but if you and your partner end up goofing off the whole time and not touching your study materials, this might not be the best option for you.

Make sure you’re having fun, especially while on your breaks, but also make sure you remain focused enough to actually look at the information you need to know for your final.

Get a coffee

If you’ve been studying for ages and you can’t keep your eyes open anymore — even if it is only 2 p.m. — grab yourself a coffee. Indulge a little, too. Get that chocolate drink. Get the extra whipped cream on top. It’ll give you an emotional pick-me-up as well as the benefit of having caffeine to keep you awake and studying.

Sleep well

If you’ve been studying for ages and you can’t keep your eyes open anymore, it might be the best option to go to sleep. It is healthy to let your brain rest.

Don’t cram and pull an all-nighter. Sleep gives your brain time to process information so that you can remember it for your final exam. Let’s just hope you don’t have a nightmare about economics or whatever it is you’re studying while you’re asleep.

Good luck! You’ve got all the tools you need to be successful this finals season. Put in the effort and follow these tips, and you will get through finals week with ease.

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