By Melanie Haid
The prospect of finals week can be terrifying. College is overwhelming enough as is, but finals – especially when all you want to do is go home, pet your dog and catch up on all the sleep you’ve lost these past few months – could really be a cause of dread. However, along with finals comes no classes, giving you time to study your heart out. Now the question is: how do you do that effectively without driving yourself crazy?
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to try to not let yourself get lazy. Along with this, you want to make sure that you’re not getting sick. This means you should try to maintain a sleep schedule or create one if yours has been jumbled throughout the course of this semester. You’d be surprised at the wonders going to sleep and waking up around the same time each day can do for your immune system. This practice can help you stay more alert and awake throughout the day and even minimize acne if that’s on your list of stress factors.
With all of this free time, you should have a healthy balance of work and play. For this reason, you may not want to study for hours on end every day. In this same vein, binge-watching shows and ignoring your responsibilities can also be a recipe for failure – in this case, literally.
Studying should be done in increments, not all at once. I find that one of the best ways to absorb information is to take about 30 to 45 minutes to study with little to no distraction and then take about 10 to 15 minutes to get food or take a breather.
When you’re studying, consider stashing your phone in your desk or under your pillow. Even if you’re only on it for five minutes, think of how much information you’re bombarded with on social media the second you open up an app. Try maintaining the information you just memorized for your psych test with all of that news and gossip – you’re going to inadvertently replace important facts for which Kardashian is pregnant now, essentially wasting the time you just spent absorbing information.
Like I said before, you shouldn’t be studying non-stop. You have a limited amount of time, and you can only do so much before you start beating a dead horse. Keep your studies fresh and yourself sane by rotating through doing other things. Take some time to relax – go to the gym, cook yourself some food, read a book, hang out with your friends – after all, soon enough you’ll be without them for five weeks.
Finals week doesn’t mean that finals are the only things that matter, especially considering that if your physical and mental health isn’t doing too hot, you likely won’t be able to focus too much on your exams either. Sit back and relax but study hard; finals won’t know what hit ‘em.