December 6th 2017
Before you can get to party it up for the holidays, you need to get through one thing….finals
It is that time of the semester again, finals. The time where you spend all night under a hot desk lamp or falling asleep on library couches, taking in a solid IV drip of coffee. Just kidding…sorta. Finals really suck and every teacher treats them as if their class is the only class you have to worry about. 20 page papers, cumulative exams, group presentations and so much more all creep up on you super quick and that is enough to overwhelm anyone.
Well, I have been there, done that and I can guarantee that you will survive. If I could do a 5 year dual bachelors and MBA program in 4 years, you can kick butt and take names at your finals. Since, as I said, I’ve been there and done that, I have found many ways that have and have not worked to get things done. So without further introduction, here are so do’s and don’ts of finals preparation. ((If you’re not in school this doesn’t really apply to you, but you could still benefit from reading these tips and tricks to prepare for any big deadline with ease!))
- Keep a planner- I preach this in every Let’s Get Organized post. Planners are literally life changing. If you haven’t used one all semester and don’t feel like buying one, make one on your phone. It is super duper simple and you can take it everywhere you go. Write down deadlines, prioritize what needs to get done when. I even used to write down how long I thought a particular assignment would take me so I could plan my other work around it. If you don’t plan, time will pass you by in a blink of an eye.
- Worry about yourself- Group projects are hell. There is no nice way to say it. I have never in my entire school career walked out of a group project and said “wow, everyone really pulled their weight and was accountable for their part of the project!” Your goal isn’t to get everyone to be the perfect group member, your goal is to get your work done. Don’t get so wrapped up in what your group member are (or aren’t) doing and focus on your work. If you think they aren’t going to do their part, talk to them and if the problem persists, ask the professor. Make them aware of the problem so you aren’t stuck the night before the presentation filling in the blanks. It’s not snitching, it’s being a team player.
- Do. Not. Procrastinate.- This is my worst habit. If I get anxious about a piece of work, I put it off until I physically cannot put it off anymore and I am forced to do it. Don’t be like me. Get work done early so that if you did something wrong, you can fix it instead of floundering around to hand in a half-assed first draft.
- Give yourself a break- The worst thing you could do during finals week is study non-stop and work yourself to death. Get out. See a movie with friends. Meditate. I use a few great apps for meditation such as Insight Timer, Headspace, and Stop, Breathe & Think that offer meditations that vary in length which is perfect for study breaks and leave you feeling rejuvenated afterward. Give your brain a rest. Don’t procrastinate, but do allow yourself some time away from your work so you go into exams and papers feeling fresh and relaxed. Reward yourself for the hard work you’re doing.
- Get someone to hold you accountable- I always told my friends what exams I had and when so that if they saw me slacking and not studying, they would call me out. Sometimes I don’t realize when I am procrastinating or getting off topic. Having a friend or even a family member to hold you accountable gives you the little added push you need to keep going.
- RELAX- Finals are a grade, they aren’t a life or death thing. Don’t drive yourself so crazy that you forget everything or psych yourself out. If you studied as much as you could, you did all that you could do. Don’t be hard on yourself.
These tips really helped me get through school and I hope that they are of some benefit to you. Just remember, try your best and the holiday break is right around the corner!