You’re better than any number: study hard but stay well during finals


Zara Lateef

Sophomores Tim Shaban and Kevin Wesolowski study for their math final, helping each other with the questions they don’t understand.

Final exams are just around the corner, from Wednesday, Jan. 18 to Friday, Jan. 20.

After “no harm” finals, a special COVID gift from last year, the traditional exams are back. Finals week is known worldwide to be the most stressful week for students during the year. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as we tackle final exams:

  1. Everyone is unique. What works for one person may not work for all. Avoid comparing your study techniques and schedule to your friend’s. You have survived the year so far and learned what works for you. Trust yourself. 
  2. Set your priorities. We all have some subjects we struggle with, while others come easier. With limited time, prioritize what areas you truly need to study the most.
  3. Create a timeline. Once you know your priorities, estimate how much time you need to devote to different classes. Create a daily study chart. Most importantly don’t procrastinate!
  4. Find your study space. We all work well in different environments, figure out which one works for you. Decide if you’re someone who works better studying with someone else or alone. 
  5. HIDE YOUR PHONE. No matter how many excuses we might make for why we need our phone to study, we will all study better without the distractions of our phone nearby. 
  6. Take breaks. Not only will your brain function better with frequent breaks, but it is necessary for your mental health. 
  7. Find positive ways to relieve stress. Whether this is exercising, meditating, listening to music, or having a nice conversation, you do have time for this. 
  8. Eat and Sleep. Don’t stay up until two am and skip breakfast the next morning. Our brains need fuel and rest to continue functioning optimally. Our brain also processes the information we learn during the day when we sleep at night. 
  9. Trust yourself. Have faith. So much of your performance is your mindset. Believe in yourself. 
  10. Keep perspective. Although we live in a culture of high stress and standards, at the end of the day finals will not determine the rest of your life. So try to relax and keep the bigger picture in mind. You are more than what you score on a final exam. 

“Avoid the urge to procrastinate and create a game plan to begin studying at least a week in advance. Preparation is the key to success,” said Renee Koziol, counselor, when asked about the top pieces of advice for finals.

I hope these tips will help make finals week a little bit less stressful. If you need any support during finals, email your assigned counselor, social worker or psychologist. Contact information can be found here.