Finals are a stressful time for any college student, and it can often feel overwhelming with a pile of tests and copious amounts of information coming your way. Following these simple tips will keep you in check for Finals Week. Just take your time, and make sure that you leave time to relax throughout the entire process. Your body will thank you in the end, and your grades will too.

1. Study

I know it sounds generic, but it’s essential to be a master of the content before you dive head first into your lecture hall to take the final exam.

Break open your textbooks and take notes, and look over your old lecture notes. Email your professor for a study guide if they didn’t give you one. Lean on your resources to ensure your success: peer-tutoring, professor’s office hours, study circles with classmates.

2. Don’t overload yourself

Don’t go thinking that you can cram everything into your noggin the night before an exam. Absorbing knowledge takes time, otherwise, you’ll forget a fact fifteen minutes later. Information retention requires repetition and looking at the material multiple times.

Take your time and delegate time for each test weeks in advance before finals creep around the corner.

3. Use color

Notes don’t have to be boring and black. Use colorful highlighters, and gel pens to spice up your studying and keep yourself organized. Categorize different facts and information by color coding your notes. Use different fonts and styles of writing for extra emphasis on those sentences that might be more important.

4. Take time for your peers

Although you might meet with peers for study groups and extra-curricular activities, make sure you delegate time to hang out in a non-academic space. Go out for a movie. Stay in and watch Netflix. Just know that the weeks before finals shouldn’t solely be spent on studying. Too much studying will cause you to forget and be tired.

5. Chew gum

Studies conducted at Penn State have shown that if you chew gum while studying, and you chew that same gum when you take the test, the information you absorbed will be relived in the flavor and texture of the gum.

Make sure to pack a pack of gum in your bag when heading to finals, keeping your breath and grades minty fresh (or whatever flavor you have).

6. Listen to music

Listening to music is very helpful when studying and relaxing and is so versatile. Music without lyrics has been found to have a helpful effect when doing a repetitive activity like reading and writing. It also has a very relaxing effect so in between study sessions, listening to your favorite playlist can help you relax and de-stress before the big day.

7. Practice self-care

Realize that you are not an academic machine that spits facts. You are a person.

You have your own interests, hobbies, and coping mechanisms. Make sure that you put them to use around finals to control your stress levels when finals come around. Take time for yourself amongst your studying to take care of yourself and take notes on your own well-being. Make sure that you are eating healthy, listening to comforting music, surrounding yourself with a positive support network, and taking other measures of self-care.

8. Study again

We can never overstate the importance of studying when it comes to finals. If you think that your mind is done absorbing information, it’s only 40 percent done.

The US Department of the Navy, Navy SEALs has a concept called the 40 percent rule to strengthen mental toughness: “when your mind is telling you you’re done, you’re really only 40 percent done.” – Jesse Itzler, a billionaire that hired a Navy Seal to teach him and his family the secrets to mental toughness. navy seals aren’t born with the ability to run long distances and swim in freezing cold water, but when enduring SEAL training they are given the tools to forge themselves into the fiercest sailors through the test of Hell Week to prove that they have the mental capability and capacity to do anything that they put their mind to.

Make sure that you tackle your final exams with the same mental toughness of a Navy SEAL.

9. Make sure to lean on your family

Don’t feel embarrassed to call your family for moral support. Your parents, siblings, and close relatives are your best support system to lean on during tough times like the finals week hump. I call my mom every so often to ask for advice, and to make sure she’s doing okay. There’s no shame in asking for help and reassurance from those back home when you’re overwhelmed and stressed studying for finals.

That’s a great opportunity to lean on those that care about you most, and only want the best for you.

10. Study again

I cannot stress this enough. Study. Make sure that you become the black belt of biology, the Edgar Allan Poe of English, or the master of whatever topics you are trying to tackle. Channel your inner Mister Miyagi and wax those windows. Make sure that you are not only studying the content but yourself as well. Know when you should stop and take a snack break, go for a walk, or take a nap. You know yourself best, so get yourself through finals week with your head held high. You can do it!

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