How to Handle Finals

by Molly Scott

Finals don’t have to be this way!

It’s here…finals. ‘Tis the season to stress out, panic, cry, and lose your mind. However, I’ve taken an oath this year not to let myself fall into the madness of finals, and you should too! Here are some reading week tricks and tips to acing all your finals with a minimal level of stress.

Get Organized
When you’re in a calm and relaxed zone, take out a clean sheet of paper. Create your own version of a calendar and write out the dates of all your finals. Then, on another sheet of paper, write down what you need to study for each final. Next, determine how much time you think you’ll need to study for each exam. Finally, on your finals calendar, write down on which days and for how long you will study for each exam.

Start Early
Procrastination is easiest during this time of the semester. Once you’ve created your plan for how you’re going to study, get started! I find it’s easiest to do this if I know there is a break in the near future.

Take Breaks
Studying a semester’s worth of material in one sitting is painful and useless (you won’t retain half of it). I personally believe that you should study for 30 minutes and then take a 10-15 minute break. This will keep your brain fresh and you can look forward to breaks sooner. During these breaks, get up, walk around, eat something, and just get out of your study space.

It’s even prettier in person

Get off Campus
This is truly the best time of the year in New York City; take advantage of it! Take a break with some friends and go see the tree in Rockefeller Center, go ice-skating in Central Park, or get discount tickets for a holiday show. At the very least, grab a hot chocolate from Liz’s Place and walk around Riverside with a friend.

Feel Prepared, Not Nervous
Ultimately, you have to trust yourself. You are a smart, strong, beautiful Barnard woman…you can handle a final. If you study smarter (by using all these wonderful tips), you’ll obviously feel more confident and more prepared. However, if you didn’t study as much as you hoped to, you cannot go in feeling unprepared and unconfident. No matter what happens, you must walk into the classroom feeling strong and self-assured.

See the Light at the End of the Tunnel! 
It’s almost over, I promise! If you feel stressed or you simply can’t take it anymore, turn on some Christmas music, close your eyes, and imagine how relaxing winter break is going to be. Think about how much fun you’re going to be having with your family and friends in only two weeks!

Molly is a sophomore at Barnard and Girl Talk Editor for The Nine Ways of Knowing. 

Images from Andrew Lovgren and Timeout

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