Finals Week Survival Guide


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By Sophie Jeffery, Editor

It’s that time of the semester we all dread: finals week!  It seems so far away on the first day of classes as we flip through the syllabi for our new classes, but as much as we’d like to put it off, it’s here.  This can be a stressful time of year for many college students; managing an ever-growing pile of papers and assignments while somehow finding time to study for exams is stressful enough alone, but many of us are also athletes, working, and/or raising a family.  In the spirit of this cloud of general stress and anxiety that has descended upon McKendree (along with the pollen; anyone else sneezing as much as I am?), I thought I’d put together a few pointers for how to survive this week.

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Verify dates and times of your finals/due dates 

Classes are over, so your schedule for finals week is going to be out of the norm!  Fortunately, the schedule is easy enough to figure out.  Courses that usually begin on an even hour will take their finals on Monday and Tuesday.  Classes with odd start times will be on Wednesday and Thursday.

Finals start at the same time your class usually begins, but double check your syllabus or with your instructor because they will sometimes run longer than your usual class period.

If you have a final project instead of an exam, triple check those due dates! Things change so make sure you are aware of the deadlines and don’t miss them.

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Illustration by Benjamin Richter

Treat yo self, but not too much 

This is a stressful time, so allow yourself to take a break!  Take advantage of some of the many stress-relief opportunities on campus this week.

The library has a few events planned, including cotton candy on Monday and Tuesday from 1-4p.m., and DIY stress balls Monday morning from 9a.m.-noon!  There will also be stress dogs to cuddle and play with Tuesday evening from 7-8p.m.

Try to find a balance between relaxation and studying, however.  Don’t neglect your studies, but don’t forget to take care of yourself!  Getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and eating well is more important now than ever.  Your body needs fuel and rest, and pulling all-nighters is counter-intuitive.

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Illustration by Benjamin Richter

Find the study/work method that works best for you 

It’s a little late in the semester but try experimenting with different study options.  Make a quizlet, ask a couple friends to study together, or skim over the materials again, writing down key terms.  It sounds tedious, but it’s been proven that physically writing things down commits them better to memory than typing or highlighting!

If you’re suffering from writer’s block, try to do something mindless like laundry or the dishes.  Sometimes I get my best ideas while I’m folding clothes or vacuuming!  The important thing is to not sit and stare at a computer screen.  While it may seem counterproductive, getting up and doing something else will usually help.

I hope these tips will help your finals week go a little smoother!  Share your favorite study methods or coping strategies in the comments below, and good luck to us all!