It’s been a long semester and you can’t wait to be finished with another year of school. Warmer weather is calling, and you probably have big plans for the summer.
While you’ve worked hard throughout the year to get to where you are, it can be tempting to try to slide through your finals, procrastinate, or stressfully cram last-minute studying in. However, to end with solid final grades, make all your hard work worth it, and ensure that you’ve retained everything you learned this semester, you should strive to finish your semester strong.
Three tips for finishing your semester strong
1. Get organized
College at a Christian university isn’t easy. Academic expectations are high, and many students are fitting jobs and extra-curricular activities into their already crazy schedules.
As finals week quickly approaches, it’s necessary to plan out your time.
- Write out your assignments, exams, and responsibilities for the week, blocking out significant, designated amounts of time for each.
- If you don’t have a planner at this point in the semester, maybe opt for some sticky notes or use a calendar you already have to plan out your week.
- Review everything written out in front of you at one time and ensure that you won’t miss an assignment or meeting.
When you are setting aside time to study, think through the times of day that you learn best. If you are highly productive in the morning then plan on waking up and starting your day with a quick study session, or if you are a night owl make sure to plan your sleep schedule accordingly to mesh well with your study schedule! Prioritize getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy breakfast so that your mind is ready to absorb all the necessary information.
It’s best to study in 40-minute increments with breaks in between. Having multiple different studying methods can also help as you switch between different exams that you are studying for.
As you begin your study time, ramp up by reading notes, creating your own study guide a couple days before the exam, and writing down any important facts, formulas, etc.
2. Good vibes only
When you are setting up your study space, create a positive mindset for yourself. Your thoughts impact your actions, which then produce results and beliefs about your knowledge and your capabilities in your finals. You have incredible potential when you consistently give yourself positive affirmations and set realistic goals.
If you find that it is hard to focus, hit up the gym or a fitness class to help you get in the right study mindset. This may seem like counter-productive use of your time, but getting active can actually help you be more productive while you study! It gives your brain a break so that when you get back to studying you can be more focused.
It’s also helpful for you to know your learning style. Do you need silence to study? Visit the Minneapolis Public Library for an off-campus study spot. If you like white noise while you read or create a study guide, check out some of the best local coffee shops while you prepare for finals.
Or if you like music, check out this playlist we curated just for you and your study needs!
North Central University hosts a Momentum week during finals that encourages and supports students during a very stressful week. Need a break from studying? Grab a snack from any of the snack bowls around campus, hit up the calming room, or pet some therapy dogs. (Find out more by stopping by the Student Life office.)
3. Don’t go it alone
Remember, you’re surrounded by others who also need to study and are feeling the weight of finals! Find a friend, roommate, or classmate and quiz each other on your study guides. Find creative ways to review with each other, like role-playing teaching the subject, creating flash cards or a matching game, or drawing a picture/representation of the concept you are trying to learn.
Our Executive Director of Student Development, Todd Monger, shares his thoughts on Self Talk and Anxiety during his Todd Talks.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your classmates are right alongside you through these last few stressful days, so work together towards success!
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