Obviously in the world we are living in now, it isn’t the easiest or most ideal situation to gather in groups with your friends to study. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help each other out or not have study groups. If you and some friends are in the same class, find a time that works for everyone two or three nights in the week leading up to finals and schedule a zoom call (or group FaceTime) to quiz each other and prep for your test!
Finals always seem to sneak up on us right after the Thanksgiving break and with no one returning to campus this year it might be hard to refocus after the holiday. By starting to look at your final exams, projects, papers, etc. now and before the holiday comes around you will be in a much better spot once the final weeks of the semester start.
Starting early could mean creating a plan for yourself and organizing things like power points, notes, outlines, etc. that you have collected throughout the semester. Some ways to get organized could be collecting notes from chapters that are going to be featured on your exam, creating an outline for a paper or essay you have to complete, marking due dates and exam times in a calendar so you are sure not to forget or miss one.
Make it Fun
While finals are always a stressful time, that doesn’t mean you can’t still do things for yourself or have some fun while home. Make goals for yourself and when you complete a goal, do something fun or relaxing. For example, if you have a long research paper due for a class, finish writing 3 or 4 pages of the paper and then paint your nails or make some cookies for a treat to enjoy later.
Taking finals at home is going to look different for everyone but it is important, especially if you have siblings or parents working from home as well, to find a quiet space that you will be able to focus and not be interrupted while taking an exam. It is also important that the space you are using to complete exams or study does not have any other distractions, it is not right by a television, a phone, etc. Taking finals at home is going to be different than what most of us are used to but that doesn’t mean it should be more difficult.
Let Everyone Know Your Schedule
Studying at home can be difficult especially if you have a full household. There can be many distractions which stray you away from your work. Making your schedule known to your family is a great way to keep your study time personal and free from distractions! Make a plan of when you will study and post it somewhere in your house or send a message of your plan to your family. This can ensure that they know when you are busy and know not to bother you as you prepare for finals.
Studying, or even focusing on anything can be difficult when your body is not properly fueled. This can be anything from eating healthy and fulfilling meals, to drinking enough water, or even taking breaks for self care such as alone time or exercise. Our bodies work better when fueled properly, so make sure you are taking care of yourself and giving your body everything it needs. Also being home is the perfect time to take advantage of those home cooked meals!
Take Breaks and Pace Yourself
Studying or spending large sums of time on anything can be stressful. It is important to take breaks and pace yourself through the journey. As long as you make time to study in advance there is no need to cram and feel pressure. Make breaks within your studying to relax and be stress free. This can be anything from watching a movie, exercising, spending time with family, reading a book, or even napping. By pacing yourself, you can help your brain relax and make the process easier.
Don’t be Shy, Ask Questions
Through studying it is normal to have questions in regards to the work or the final itself. Especially during this time when we will be home and have been online for classes it is easy to not ask the questions we have, or feel awkward or shy doing it. Don’t let this stop you! Professors are there to help and they appreciate one reaching out for help. You can show up for zoom office hours, or shoot them an email with the question and they will be happy to answer and assess your questions.
We are usually on campus for finals and utilize study spots such as the library, outside, in common areas, classrooms, and more. We also may study with friends, study groups, or even with professors. Now since we are home we might have to get creative with where we study and how we do it. Find a new spot where you feel you can relax to study, or make a new spot to set up your workspace. Utilize having family around and ask them to quiz you. Find a group of people who want to have zoom study sessions. The options are endless! During the pandemic we have had to get creative with many different things and now lets do it for studying for finals!