Survival Guide to: Finals and Finals Prep

Talk to Your Professors
Asking for help is terrifying and it’s easy to let that fear keep you from asking for help until you’ve broken down crying in your professor’s office. Surprisingly enough this isn’t the best method. Gustavus professors really don’t want to fail their students and even more so care about their students’ academic and personal wellbeing. They are indeed humans too, even if they don’t always seem like it, so go to their office hours, fill their inboxes, talk to them after class, ask all the questions and if you need help, just ask.
Sleep is More Important than Studying
We’ve all attempted the all-nighter at least once in our college lives but if we’re all being honest it rarely goes as planned. The plan always starts with something like, “I’ll stay up and finish it, take a short nap and then show up to class/take the test/give the presentation…ect” but there are so many ways this plan can crash and burn. Your body needs sleep and if you don’t allow yourself enough sleep your body will demand it. You’ll become the student sleeping sitting up, sleeping in class, or worse just sleeping though all your alarms. If you don’t sleep enough to function the next day it doesn’t matter how much you got done that night you’ll still sleep through your final.
Don’t Forget to Eat
Again, you have a body which requires care to function. It’s easy to get distracted and forget to eat or to skip a meal because you “don’t have time to eat”. Not eating will creep up on you without you realizing it. Low energy level? Low motivation? Hard to focus? Foggy brain or memory? Irritable? Light headed? Have you eaten at least three times today because maybe you should. It doesn’t have to be a full home cooked meal at mealtime but eat something.
Move Your Body at Some Point
You might not have time for a full work out at Lund, but you should still move around throughout the day. Take a lap around campus, walk the halls of whatever building you’re in, walk to the caf or the Steamery. Do something to get blood flow back to your feet and brain. Have fun with it; play tag with friends, challenge your roommate to a pushup contest, take a walk in the arb. Your brain needs blood flow and a short study break will help clear your mind and wake you up a bit.
See The Sun
We might feel like nocturnal vampires or undead zombies during finals but we are indeed still living which means you need sunlight. Take a walk, sit outside or, my personal favorite, sit yourself in front of a window like a cat and study there. The sun will help give you energy and improve your mood. If you need a little extra boost you might want to talk to your doctor about vitamin D or look into getting a happy light.
Talk to Other People
This one is more for your own sanity than anything. Though during finals it’s important to focus on school work and keep the partying and social activities to a minimum you still need human interaction. It’s easy to isolate yourself on campus but talking to other people can help you feel more motivated, alleviate stress and increase your energy levels. Find a study body, take a coffee break with friends, or call your family. You may also want to ask someone for a hug-within COVID-19 guidelines of course. We could all use a little more love and affection in the world and a hug from a friend especially during the chaos that is finals always helps.
Talk to the Librarians
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before and probably brushed it off because you don’t need help and you can find stuff in a library by yourself. While this might be true the librarians and other library staff do actually know a lot of stuff and probably a lot of things you don’t know. In addition to being incredibly helpful they are also really nice.
Use the Tutors
Again, one we’ve all heard several times but it’s true. The tutors are students just like the rest of us which makes them extra understanding. They know the prof, they’ve probably taken that class already, and they again do know what they’re doing. It’s also important to remember that you’re not bothering them. If no one shows up to tutor hours they still have to stay and sit there by themselves, so go talk to them.
Drink Water
We now return to the demands of having a human body. As you are again still human you require water. Water is not coffee, soda, energy drinks, tea, ect. You need actual water and lots of it. Keep a water bottle with you. If you’re someone like me who forgets to drink water or who doesn’t like drinking water download an app to remind you, get a reusable straw or try flavoring your water with fruit. My go to is lemon juice and ginger which both improves the taste and adds some important nutrients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *