Finals Week is upon us once again. Three quarters of the student body is ready and armed with caffeine and location coordinates for a safe study sanctuary, but I fear for the remaining quarter, the wee little freshmen. I worry that you have no idea what’s about to hit campus when quiet hours touch down on Friday. I know these are just words, but I can promise you that this next weekend and all throughout Finals Week, it won’t just be the science majors studying constantly – it will be everyone. And you all had better be prepared.
I hope I’m not the only one instilling the fear of Finals Week in you – I feel like professors generally do a pretty good job of it themselves… but think about it: you’re going to have to prove that you actually learned something in each and every one of your classes in the span of five days. God forbid if an exam is cumulative. This is so stressful because we all know that between friends and partying and Netflix, not much of our classes were actually absorbed. We all know that between now and the end of next week we’ll be cramming all of that information into our heads only to pour it back out at the exam. And we all hope that we can retain it afterwards, because how dumb would we feel if we graduated without remembering a lick of anything?
But let me stop fueling your fear and your test anxiety. Allow me to leave you with some wise words you’ve probably already heard:
-Come up with a battle plan for studying based on when you take your finals. This requires you checking the finals schedule, which they’ll send around via e-mail, but you can find it on the Mount website too if you look hard enough. This also requires you having paid enough attention in class to know whether or not you have a take-home or an in-class final. That last bit is pretty important in how you attack the subject.
-Find a quiet place without distractions and study. And so help me God; if you have Facebook open while you’re writing your final paper for Freshman Forum, you deserve the extra time you spent (that could have been spent on more productive things, like studying for another exam?) and the worse grade you get.
-Take advantage of the Library, but since that will be packed as it’s the obvious choice, definitely take a look at the AC – the building will be open for studying at all hours of the night.
-Things you can (and will) sacrifice this week: social life, Netflix/Hulu/TV/movies, some (not all) sleep, Facebook/Twitter/other-time-wasting-internet-sites, hygiene, and sanity.
-When you inevitably start to lose it – take a break. A short break, but a break. You aren’t going to be very productive when you’re at your wit’s end with re-reading the same line in your notes over and over whilst pulling out your hair. Take a walk, have a meal (without studying), switch to a different subject, or even meditate. Whatever you can do to bring yourself back to some semblance of sane will help you comprehend more information and therefore do better on your tests.
There are two more things that you all need to keep in mind once the hush of quiet hours creeps across our campus on Friday. First, the Christmas Dance is STILL HAPPENING on Friday night, and it will NOT be quiet. Unless you have a final on Saturday morning, I expect you to take some time to get to the dance. I will be personally offended if you do not show. Second, make sure you say goodbye to your friends before you pick up and leave for Christmas Break. I know, after the hell of finals is over, there is absolutely nothing you’d rather do than get away from this place, but don’t take it out on your friends. I promise that you’re gonna end up missing them and this place after a couple weeks so you might as well leave it all on a good note.
Good luck on your finals and see you next semester!