College can be overwhelming, especially during finals week. With a much needed break right around the corner, it is important to proactively align your efforts in a way that will aid you in passing each exam. You’ll be rewarded with a rejuvenating break and be ready to confidently take on the next semester.
Use these five proven practices to succeed during finals week:
- Organize your tasks by urgency and importance
- Ask for help if you need it
- Eliminate your procrastination pit-stops
- Keep your dorm room clutter free
- Take care of yourself
1. Organize your tasks by urgency and importance
“I have two kinds of problems: the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
Setting priorities is critical, but where do you begin when you have to study for multiple exams? President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s quote led to the creation of something called the Eisenhower Matrix—a four-box system for organizing your tasks by urgency and importance to essentially get them done.
Bricely Liriano, a student at the College of Staten Island stated “There have been plenty of times when instead of focusing my time on one thing, I focus on something that is not as important and I end up rushing at the last minute. However, whenever I focus on doing what needs to be done first I’m more organized and get more done with my time.”
Prioritizing your time lets you get organized and complete the most important tasks first.
2. Ask for help if you need it
“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength. It shows you have the courage to admit when you don’t know something, and to learn something new.” — Barack Obama
During finals week, it’s important to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and to rely on others for help if you need it. Ignore that self-reliant side of your personality that doesn’t usually ask for help. You can’t be successful if you don’t ask for what you need.
Bricely admits, “When I need help with a class or notes, I will usually ask my friends or my roommate to help me since we are both going for the same major. It saves me time which I can spend studying for a different subject.”
If you need help, ask. A professor, advisor, tutor, or mentor can be a great resource.
3. Eliminate your procrastination pit-stops
“Today, stop making excuses for why you can’t get it done and start focusing on all the reasons why you must make it happen.” — Unknown
Are you making it easy for yourself to procrastinate? Think about what distracts you when you have something really important to do—like studying for an exam—then make a list of these distractions. If in mid-study your phone is constantly going off, put it on do not disturb until you’ve finished. Let’s say you want to study in your dorm, but your roommate is famous for pulling you into irresistible conversations. You may want to change your environment and study in the library. This way you don’t get caught up in the excitement of distraction.
Identify your procrastination pit-stops so you can avoid them at all costs.
“Sometimes with exams, projects, homework, presentations etc., it is really hard and things can get overwhelming. I know because just like any other college student I have forgotten to do homework and I have gone to bed at 4 am after studying for an exam I’m supposed to take at 8 am,” says Bricely. “Instead of procrastinating, do things on time. It will be easier for you to be prepared for exams. You will have more time to have fun and you won’t have to rush trying to finish a homework assignment ten minutes before class begins.”
4. Keep your dorm room clutter free
“Too much clutter can cause tremendous stress and fatigue. When things take longer to find, or can’t be found, stress levels rise, and so does your risk for illness.” — Dr. Rian Rowles
Ever felt out of sorts all because your room wasn’t clean? During finals week the last thing you want is for your space to be full of clutter.
Bricely shares, “Maintaining a clean workspace for me is extremely important. I’m a resident student, which means that I live on campus in a dorm. Since I don’t have that much space my bed is also my little office and that’s why I love my Cstudio Home bedding. It’s extremely soft, minimalistic, but at the same time stylish and cute.”
At some point throughout your day you are bound to end up in your dorm room so make sure your space encourages productivity for a successful finals week.
5. Take care of yourself
“If you do not take good care of yourself you won’t be able to study, to go to class, or to get good grades.” — Bricely Liriano
Finally, one of the most important but overlooked tip to survive finals week—take care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink lots of water, get at least eight hours of sleep daily, and aim for at least thirty minutes of physical activity every day.
“Sometimes we are so focused on getting the perfect grade that we forget to take care of ourselves. Before being a student you are daughter, sister, and friend. It is okay to take some time away from studying to spend with your family too,” says Bricely.
Finals week can be a physically and mentally demanding experience. Face the challenge head on and conquer your finals by implementing these proven practices into your daily schedule. You got this love!