Congratulations! You are officially in the last weeks of the Fall semester! This semester has had it’s ups and downs for everyone. Yet, be proud of yourself, you’ve made it this far, only one “week” left to go.
As we come up on the end of the semester and dream about going home and eating good homemade foods, I know there are some of us who are worried about finals. Yikes. But don’t fret, I have collected some tips from your peers that they have found useful in the studying/writing process.
One thing that students have found helpful is to create a document separate from the paper where they can copy the prompt, brainstorm ideas, do research, write a thesis and outline the paper. This allows you to have everything in one place and organized before writing the actual essay so that you don’t feel like you are starting from scratch.
Looking at a blank document can be terrifying, where do you even start? By creating a separate document to track your ideas you ensure that you never lose your ideas and can organize them to flow before even placing them onto the final essay.
This one has helped me personally; color coding my notes. I use this to separate ideas, help me remember things and categorize. It may seem like a lot of work but once you get into it, it’s actually kind of fun. You can pick your colors and assign different colors to mean different things.
Or, if you are more persistent and ambitious, rewrite your notes using color coordination. But, what if you have a ton of notes from class and don’t need all of them? Use highlighters to follow a study guide, if one is given, and mark the notes you need to memorize. Then, open up to a new piece of paper and rewrite what you need to know. Organizing these new notes by color can be very helpful as our brains tend to remember associations better when there is color.
Finally, the one that is often deemed most important; pace yourself. Don’t cram everything all at once in just a few hours. Space out your time and be sure to include breaks. These breaks do not include sitting on your phone for hours before “remembering” you have work to do. These breaks are productive, go for a walk, make some food, talk to friends, try and distract yourself.
A couple suggestions from some peers on how they manage their time; work from 9 am – 5 pm with 3 scheduled, hour-long breaks. Stop after 5, no matter what, to keep from overwhelming yourself. Or; do 20 minutes of intense work sectioned by a 5 minute break and repeat this until your work is over. Make sure your 5 minute breaks don’t progress into hour long ones.
Coming up on finals can be very stressful and worrisome for some students and that is okay. Just make sure to keep your mental health in mind and take care of yourself. Eat good food, take breaks and breathe. You got this.
As always, the Klooster Writing Center will be there for all your writing needs. As students ourselves we are in the same boat, you aren’t alone and can get all the support you need.
This is the last blog post of the semester so I will see you all next semester! Have a great Christmas Break and stay safe!