Take breaks - but avoid social media
If you’re anything like me, “quickly checking” any notification on my phone is impossible. I get sucked into hours of pointless scrolling until I realize, “Wasn’t I suppose to be studying?”
Get a good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast
This one is a tad cliché, but it truly is important. The average adult needs 6-8 hours of sleep. Are you getting that many? Sleep deprivation has been linked to lower grades and overall GPA because it affects your concentration and memory. Eating a healthy breakfast, especially the morning before an exam, will also help cognitive function as well as give you energy. I think it is a lot easier to focus on your final if you’re wide awake and have a full stomach!
Use study tools
Reading and writing notes are a great study tool, but after a while, it turns me into a zombie. Not only does my hand cramp up, but I start losing focus, and all of a sudden I’m flipping the page, not sure what the heck I just read! I personally like using flashcards. They are handy and super mobile! I can have a friend quiz me with them or I can bring them to work in my pocket and go over them during slow times or breaks. It really helps to read them aloud. There are also tons of different study tools like Quizlet and different apps for your phone.
If you aren’t sure about something you’re learning, ask questions in class! I don’t necessarily like interrupting the class to ask questions, so I keep a list of them and I ask my peers or professor after class or even in an email. I really love SCTCC because everyone is always super willing to help with anything!
Review your study materials EVERY DAY - don’t try to cram!
Another cliché, but DON’T PROCRASTINATE. It’s something that everyone tells me, yet I always seem to end up cramming the night before my final. This semester I have been reading my materials every day in hopes of reducing the stress of finals week.
Arrive on time ready to go
Another thing I seem to do often is arrive late or in a rush. Give yourself some extra time in the morning before your finals and stay relaxed. Come prepared, bring some drinking water, and don’t forget your writing utensils.
Don’t panic, but don’t become over confident
Don’t stop when you feel like you understand - keep rereading! It’s better to be over prepared than under prepared. Plus, feeling like you’ve got it under control will reduce or even destroy any anxiety you have toward your finals.
When it’s over, let it go
I think this is the best piece of advice. Don’t ruin your winter break by wondering “what if?” What’s done is done. I always seem to do better than I originally thought. So don’t stress after the fact!
Jasmine Pelzer is a Marketing and Design student at SCTCC and a student worker in the college's Marketing and Communications department.