By Talia Floyd
The end of spring semester comes with a long build up to summer plans, whether you’re going abroad, working, interning, visiting family, sleeping off the school year or a combination. As much as we would like for the school year to get progressively less stressful, the reality is that in order to pass and collect that last paycheck, we have to make it through finals.
The actual week of finals may or may not be the most stressful week of the year. It is the build up of final papers, final projects and group presentations that makes the end of the semester nightmarish. The Pinnacle interviewed Ashanti Oneala ’19, Corey Bush ’19 and Amanda Burton ’19 to learn about how they prepare for a successful finals week.
When asked what study strategies help them stay focused Burton ’19 said “I reward myself for completing each task with something small, like I’ll get a snack or make a cup of tea, but I’m not allowed to do it until I finish what I’m working on.” Incentives can be a great way to motivate yourself to get through a particularly challenging task. For example instead of strangling your group members think of that show you get to binge watch as soon as you’ve put the final touches on your presentation. Oneala ’19 said that “If I’m alone, I listen to instrumental music, but if I’m in a crowd of people, I listen to my regular music. I also turn off my phone and read in an accent.”
Bush ‘19 echoes her sentiment that he also turns off his phone to minimize distraction.
Studying for a final test can be daunting. Bush ’19 suggested that “Group studying/collaboration helps reinforce the material in memory the night before”.
Burton ’19 agreed saying “I like to do study groups because then you have different perspectives from other people who may answer something better than I did.”
Minimizing distractions is another important step to a successful end to the semester. Creating a productive study space requires a little avoidance. Oneala ’19 put it pretty simply in response saying avoid “your friends”.
The final and perhaps most important element of preparing for finals is selfcare. College is inherently stressful and it can be difficult to stay committed to your studies, especially with the looming yet elusive temptation of a break. Some people work well under pressure. Many people will insist they are in that group; very few actually are. Managing and minimizing stress will lead to a healthier and more productive finals week. When asked how she practiced self care Burton said ““My favorite de-stressing strategy is painting. It’s a good project to occupy my mind for a couple hours without thinking about school. I’m kind of bad at it but when you’re done you have a completed project that you finished on your own!” she continued saying “I use face masks, drink tea, and meditate a lot. Sometimes it’s worth it to just neglect school work to chill out for a couple of hours.” Oneala simply suggested that students “Binge watch Netflix for a full day.”