Start Preparing For Finals

By Joshua Morrison
Blog Content Contributor

Photo by Holly Henrichsen.
Photo by Holly Henrichsen.

We are less than a month away from the end of the semester. If your semester has been at all like mine, you’re coming to the end of a stressful uphill battle that has taken a toll on your sleep and social life. The end is thankfully in sight.

It may feel a bit soon to start thinking about the end of the semester. Finals are visible in the distance, but they might not yet be in focus. They have not yet struck fear into our hearts and that makes this the perfect time to start thinking about how to soldier through. Finals week is the main event and now is the time to train. If we take the right action now, we may never have to tremble under their weight.

How can we do so? What can be done now to prepare ourselves for what’s to come? Well, there are many answers to that question. I’m here to highlight three of them.

1. Build as much routine into your sleep schedule as you can.

Nothing can trip you up more during a stressful time than having your body’s energy reserves come to an end. Nobody can really predict when this will happen. Train yourself to sleep on a regular schedule that allows your body to get the rejuvenation it needs. When we deprive ourselves of sleep we can’t think at the level we’re capable of thinking and our work gets sloppy. We get exhausted and fall into the trap of overcompensating by sleeping away entire days. This sets off a vicious cycle that, at least in my life, tends to culminate in the always risky proposition of having to pull an all-nighter to get a project done. Avoid this! A regular sleep schedule allows for a regular work schedule.

2. Think about what you are putting in your body.

It is easy to reach for unhealthy, convenient food when we’re overworked. It’s also easy to develop a dependency on coffee or energy drinks. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where you are staggering across the finish line running on low-quality fuel. Unhealthy food makes people crash and depending too heavily on caffeine disrupts your sleep. Give yourself the time to be purposeful in what you consume and stay vigilant about avoiding what is detrimental. Build good habits now so you don’t find yourself reaching for vices when the going gets tough.

3. Start planning who you’ll work with now.

Carve out a group of people to study with. Doing so helps on multiple levels. First, it keeps you accountable. If you integrate yourself into a study group, it puts some pressure on you to not be the dead weight. Accountability to others is often the best way to keep you accountable to yourself. Study groups also help you learn better! Different things click with different people. Somebody in your class just might understand that lesson that didn’t quite make sense to you, and the same is true in reverse. Share your expertise! Don’t wait until the last minute to form your study group, or the people who can help you the most might already be taken.

Hopefully these tips will motivate you to plan ahead. Rough times lie ahead for all of us. Let’s cross that finish line in the best shape possible.

Holly Henrichsen

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