How to Survive College Finals

November 30, 2015

For all you Freshmen out there coming back from this Thanksgiving break, you are about to experience something quite different than what you did in high school. Why? You are about to go through your first college finals week.

Thinking about “finals” can be scary - it sounds so final, doesn’t it? Sorry for the bad joke, but you know what we mean. However, the truth is, they are not as absolute as they may seem. If you have worked hard throughout the semester, you should be fine, since you should have all the knowledge locked up. So the first piece of advice? Don’t wait until the end of the semester to start learning the material! You should be going to class with an A attitude everyday, not just at the TA’s review session.

Regardless, we’ve all had those classes where we feel lost the entire semester. Some classes, you really need the final in order to boost your grade and qualify for that summer study abroad trip. So whether you’re trying to lock up an A in the class or you’re just looking to get a passing grade, here are some tips to put your best foot forward during your first finals week.  

  1. Make a plan. Find out when all your finals are as soon as possible, so you can organize your schedule so that you have plenty of time to study and relax. Finals aren’t the only thing going on at the end of the semester, as sports teams, clubs, and sororities/fraternities all have big end-of-the-semester events planned, so it is crucial to get your schedule together early so you have time to finish the semester strong in all areas of your life.

  2. Find out what you don’t know first. When studying the large amounts of material covered in finals, you need to prioritize -don’t get stuck in the weeds. Find out what you don’t know, write it all down, and ask someone who knows. Whether that’s Google, your TA, or your roommate, just find someone who knows the answer and move on. Studying for a final is a lot easier if you look at it like an Easter Egg hunt: the egg you find on the front step is just a valuable as the one you spend an hour looking for in the tall grass.

  3. Relax. Take time for yourself. Remember, no matter what, it is not the end of the world. You have other things contributing to your grade and this is only your first semester, you will have a ton of opportunities before you graduate.     

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