Guide to surviving final exams

Thanksgiving provided a much-needed break from school, but now finals are looming on the horizon. With only one reading day this year, many students are already stressing about the impending doom that is finals week. Thankfully, TMH has got your back. We’ve compiled a range of great tips to help you adjust to the new schedule relatively unscathed.

How to Study

Find a buddy: Group studying motivates everyone to at least start studying, and discussing difficult concepts can help you gain a deeper understanding of your class materials. Just make sure it doesn’t turn into a social hour … or two.

Draw it Out: Take time to cover each section of the syllabus, focusing on what you struggled with during the semester. Stretching out your studying will leave you more relaxed and confident at test time.

Get Enough Sleep: Your brain needs time to absorb the information you’re studying, and sleep is essential to this process.


What to do during breaks

Exercise: Exercise releases endorphins, gets your blood pumping, wakes up your body, and puts your focus on something other than studying.

Bake/Make something: Exercise a different part of your brain by getting your hands dirty. Baking or making something allows you to get away from studying for a while, and gets your creative juices flowing.

Meditate: Don’t knock it ‘till you try it; meditating is a great way to reset your mind and relax when the stress of finals is bearing down on you.

Get a massage: The Wellness Center offers 25- and 55-minute massages for $35 and $55, respectively. Relax and enjoy it. Both your brain and body will thank you later.

Go holiday shopping: ’Tis the season, and since finals end later than usual this year, you won’t have much time for holiday shopping after finals. So take an extended break and hop online, or head to the mall for a few hours. It’s one less thing you have to worry about later on.

Get lunch with friends: They say misery loves company, but spending time with friends can actually help you stay motivated throughout finals. Blowing off some steam at the Rat, or hanging out somewhere off campus is a great way to take your mind off of studying and just have fun for awhile. Just make sure you get back to studying eventually.


What to eat

Apples and peanut/almond butter: The protein in nut butters will keep you full between meals and pairing it with apples is a perfect way to sneak in a serving of fruit that conveniently packs into a backpack or purse.

Hummus and pretzels: Brands like Sabra are now offering single-serving packs of hummus, complete with pretzels for dipping. These low-cal snack packs are a great option for the on-the-go student.

Granola bar:  Although often high in calories, granola bars can be perfect for satiating hunger between meals, and some are so tasty they seem more like a dessert than a snack.


What to wear

Get dressed:  You’re not going to be motivated to do anything if you’re in your pajamas all day.

Wear something comfortable: Nobody likes hunching over too-tight clothing, or wearing earrings that make headphone use impossible. Think of something that you’d wear to go get coffee with a friend – comfortable, presentable and, in this cool weather, perhaps even cozy.

Know your study conditions: If you’re going to be studying for a while, think about where you’re studying and what you need to do to stay comfortable. It’s not easy to focus on your textbook when you’re sweating or shivering.

December 4, 2013


Amanda Wood

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