When it’s come to final exams, we know what we’re talking about. Among our library staff, we have twenty college degrees. (Library types like to keep learning.) Obviously, we’ve taken our share of final exams. So here, in no particular order, are our tips on surviving finals week:
- Don’t drink more than your usual amount of caffeine. You may stay awake more, but your productivity will be compromised by the jitters!
- Don’t stay up all night studying. Most people can’t do their best on an exam without being rested.
- Research shows that individuals have only so much willpower at any one time. So during finals week, use what willpower you have for studying. This is probably not the time to decide to give up smoking or sweets. Pam, who is taking a final exam this week, disagrees with the statement about sweets. Her advice: Don’t eat sugar! It only makes you depressed and tired.
- Work out. No, you don’t need to run a marathon or do a marathon session at the gym. But take a break every hour or so; take a short walk. Do some yoga or sit-ups. Anything that gets the body moving can refresh the mind.
- Take a well-defined break. It’s easy to say that you need a break and then realize four hours later, you’re still on that break. So keep them short: Get a little exercise. Watch television, but only one episode of a favorite sitcom. (Laughter relieves tension.) Listen to some music. Talk to a buddy. Play with your cats (Pam’s suggestion.)
- There is no substitute for keeping up with the readings, notes, and assignments for the semester. However, if you are behind, then do some academic triage. Where do you need to do the most work? What classes can be saved?
- Get help if you need it. See if folks in your class want to study together. Go to the Learning Center. See your professor.
- Do what works for you.
Good luck on your final exams!