Surviving finals

December 6, 2010

It’s that time of year again: Norlin Library is getting more visitors than usual, and Laughing Goat baristas are filling the bean hoppers twice as fast; finals season is in full effect. Spring semester is wrapping up, and CU-Boulder students are starting to feel anxious as they prepare for a week of stress and exams. To help ease into finals week, fellow Buffs have offered the following tips.

1. Take it one step at a time.

It doesn’t make any sense to try to study every subject at once; it’s nearly impossible to retain all of the knowledge that way. Instead, study for one class at a time, and in order of your scheduled finals. “I study for one final at a time,” said Morgan Aguilar, a sophomore majoring in broadcast news and women’s studies. “If I have a psych final on Monday and an anthropology final on Tuesday, I don’t start studying for my Anthropology final until I am done and confident with my Psych material.”

2. Start early.

Putting off your studying until the very last minute isn’t going to get you anywhere. You’ll be overwhelmed with all of the subjects if you procrastinate. The semester may be almost over, but that doesn’t mean you should start slacking off now. Don’t get behind on your reading, especially. Also, take advantage of the resources available to you, such as talking with a professor or a TA. “I like getting a head start on all of my papers and reading,” said Andy Bashford, a senior economics major.  “I also visit my professors’ office hours for extra help.”

3. Sleep and get plenty of rest.

Loading up on caffeine and pulling all-nighters isn’t the answer to test success. The information will just slip right out of your head the next day as you become more concentrated with your lack of sleep than the material at hand. The caffeine from the pot of coffee you just downed will provide you with a major crash afterwards, and your lack of sleep will just make you sick. Whether your sleep cycle consists of five hours or even eight, make sure you get an adequate amount of sleep before your finals. “I try to stay away from energy drinks during finals season,” said sophomore Collin Wooldridge, an integrative physiology major. “I try to get an adequate amount sleep, as well. I do okay on sleep, for the most part.”

4. Take breaks.

If you are able to study for a chemistry final for five hours straight, then you have some major willpower. However, taking a break every once in a while is a good idea. When you’ve been studying flashcards for the polyatomic ions for the last hour and a half and still can’t remember the charges, step out for a while. Grab some munchies, walk around, do whatever it is you need to de-stress. “I try to take a lot of breaks when I study,” said junior integrative physiology major Miranda Lowe. “I only study for one hour at a time. It’s easier to break it down that way.”

5. No distractions!

Putting the books down and opening your laptop to Facebook for five minutes may sound like a great idea, but those five minutes will quickly turn into 30 or 40 minutes. Texting and chatting on Facebook will prove to be some of your biggest hurdles to get through when studying for finals. Turn the cell phone off and do anything you can to avoid feeding your Facebook addiction, unless it’s part of your planned break time. “My roommate and I usually change each other’s Facebook passwords,” said Rebecca Naccarato, a sophomore psychology major. “At least that way we both can’t get on and we can get our studying done!” Finals week is just that: it’s only six days of tests. Right now, the future seems bleak and stressful. With enough hard work, however, finals will be over and you’ll officially be one semester closer to graduating and only days away from winter break. –Story Author, Lauren Archuletta, sophomore, News Editorial –Video Production, Amanda Yourick,  senior, Broadcast Production –Video Production, Joey Maestas,  senior, Broadcast News