Studying - Photo by Ian Campbell

The end of the semester is almost here. We’ve almost made it to summer! However, with the end of the semester comes the dreaded finals. Finals are never fun or easy, but coupled with the pandemic and remote learning, they’re even worse. But it’s important to remember that you’ll make it through them. But if you’re still having some doubts, here are a couple of tips to help you prepare for your finals.

Find out where you study best

It might seem like a small detail to some, but the place you study can greatly affect how efficiently you study. You just have to find what works best for you. Some people study best in their room at their desks, while others prefer the library or a coffee shop. Whatever your preferred place of study may be, it’s important to figure it out and stick to studying there to ensure you get as much out of your studying as you can.

Stay off your phone

Eliminating distractions is essential for studying well. It’s hard to really learn or absorb information when you’re checking TikTok every five minutes. To help yourself do your best on your finals, put your phone in a different room or away in a bag while you study. And if the thought of not having your phone right beside you makes you anxious, try just turning off some of your notifications for apps that will distract you. You’d be surprised how often we check just one notification during studying and it turns into an hour of mindless scrolling.

Try a study group

Some people might not be able to focus with other people studying right there with them, but for others, it can be really helpful. Reach out to classmates and see if they’d be interested in a study group for finals. Your group can help each other with topics you might not understand, and discussing those topics will most likely lead to a better understanding of it. However, if your classes are online or remote, try doing this with a friend. Having a friend studying with you regardless of whether or not it's for the same class can be beneficial. You can keep each other on track and maybe even have a little fun studying!

Take breaks

Studying for hours upon hours is draining and stressful. After a certain point, it can feel really hard to absorb any more information. When you hit this point, it’s important to take a break, no matter what that might look like for you. Watch an episode of your favorite show, listen to some music, go for a walk or even just take a nap. Taking a break from long periods of studying can help you relax and calm your mind until you’re ready to begin again.

Start early

It can seem almost impossible to get a head start on anything in college, especially during finals, but if you’re able to do it, you should. You’ll thank yourself in the end. Spending a little bit of time studying every day before your final is a lot more effective and a lot less stressful than staying up all night cramming before your final. If you can make time in your schedule, set aside an hour or a few to study for your finals so you can best prepare yourself.

Go to office hours/study sessionsif you have questions

If there’s a concept or topic in class that you’re just having issues understanding, reach out! Go to office hours with any questions or concerns you have before the final. If your professor or TA holds study sessions, do your best to attend as many as you can. It can feel scary to reach out to a professor or a TA at first, but you will be so happy you did. That’s what they’re there for!

Self-care

Studying is important, but so is taking care of yourself. While things like sleeping and eating may seem like no-brainers, it can be easy to forget about them when you’re stressed out and up to your ears in work to do. Basic self-care is important for your mental health, and despite how much you might have to do to prepare for your finals, you have to take care of yourself first. Take a long shower, eat something that will give your brain fuel and get some rest. You got this!

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